Eskom acting CEO weighs in on Tshwane coal truck protest

Johannesburg - Traffic jams hit highways leading into the City of Tshwane on Wednesday morning as coal trucks blocked routes to protest against renewable energy projects.

Reports emerged on Wednesday morning of massive traffic jams on Gauteng’s N1 North, R21 North and the N14 routes leading into Pretoria in Tshwane.

READ: LIVE - Truck protest causes Tshwane traffic chaos

Gauteng radio station PowerFM reported that the Coal Transport Forum said Eskom’s agreement with independent power producers (IPPs) will see mining job losses.

As part of diversifying its energy mix, Eskom is expected by government to roll out an IPP programme that allows for the likes of solar and wind power to be fed into the national grid.

Just last week, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) said Eskom’s allowable revenue of R205bn includes an amount of R23bn for IPP purchases.

What are your thoughts on the reasons behind the coal truckers' protest? Tell us by clicking here.

But the move towards IPPs has seemingly irked the likes of coal transporters, who on Wednesday morning said they are leading a convoy to the Union Buildings to voice their grievances to President Jacob Zuma, according to PowerFM.

And even Eskom’s acting CEO Matshela Koko commented on the matter on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

“We are burning over 3 million tons less coal due to energy surplus, negative energy growth & increasing renewable energy input,” tweeted Koko.

“Consequently, @Eskom_SA will not be renewing contracts of coal transporters supplying coal to Eskom,” he said.

In its Budget Review last week, Treasury said the IPP programme “boosted power generation, attracted R194.1bn in private investment and created thousands of jobs”.

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