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Mantashe says more coal worth a court battle

‘I know that we’re going to end up in court for it,’ he said
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

South African Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe upped the ante in his battle to retain a plan to build more coal plants, saying a trip to court would be well worth the effort.

“I know that we’re going to end up in court for it,” he told reporters at the Africa Energy Week conference in Cape Town on Tuesday. “Everything we do you end up in court, but I think we should.”

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The former coal unionist is at the center of a fight over whether the black rock should remain part of South Africa’s future energy mix rather than more climate-friendly options. Envoys from the UK, US and the European Union flew to the country last month to offer billions of dollars in concessional loans and grants to ditch the plans for coal, though Mantashe didn’t meet them.

The construction of 1,500MW of new coal capacity has been included in South Africa’s Integrated Resources Plan and should be retained, the minister earlier told reporters. That would allow for the development of cleaner coal technology that could prolong use of the fuel, he said.

South Africa also wants to look at exploiting recent gas discoveries, though that would require fresh funding, Mantashe said.

The battle over how to increase South Africa’s energy supplies comes as coal-dependent Eskom, the state-owned electricity monopoly, initiates weeks of rolling power cuts due to generation capacity shortages.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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The ANC and Mantashe will continue to drag us backwards. According to the latest quoted rates per kilowatt, solar and wind is now WAY cheaper than coal, there’s not even any comparison. And that doesn’t include the ‘hidden’ costs of these broken-down coal-powered stations that are now resulting in billions of rands worth of lost hours of productivity. Mantashe clearly has vested interests in keeping coal alive.

You can scream and shout and throw Mantashe tantrums as much as you like. In the end, someone has to finance the development because you don’t have the money. The court won’t force any bank to take your hand. Then, you will have to turn to the ANC’s default piggy bank, the GEPF again.

Meanwhile … “Amazon Web Services has completed its first operational solar project in South Africa.

Located in the Northern Cape, the 10 megawatt (MW) solar project will supply renewable energy to AWS data centres and contribute to South Africa’s 2030 renewable energy goals, the group said in a statement on Thursday (4 November).

The solar project is expected to generate up to 28,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy per year, which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of over 8,000 average South African homes, it said.” Business Tech

And – “It would take just a minute for Eskom’s already crippled power system to totally collapse, sending the entire country into weeks-long blackout.

This is according to Professor Thinus Booysen of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch.”

Yet another example of precisely why the ANC/State/Luthuli House needs to get out of the way of business.

Is it just me or do others also feel we are standing on an ice sheet in the middle of a frozen lake, miles from land and the ice is beginning to crack?

“Everything we do you end up in court…”

Quite true. There are two reasons for this:

1. You don’t pick up the legal fees. We do. If you were paying out of your pocket the courts would be empty except for criminal prosecutions. Guaranteed.
2. You have no clue what you are doing (witness the destruction of Eskom,PRASA,PetroSA etc) so the only alternative for third parties is to seek relief in court.

QED.

End of comments.

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