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SA taken to court after doubling coal-emission limits

GroundWork files challenge against environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

South Africa’s government is facing a legal challenge over its decision last year to double the amount of sulfur dioxide that coal-fired power plants and refineries can emit.

GroundWork, an environmental non-governmental organisation, filed the challenge against Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and President Cyril Ramaphosa in the Pretoria High Court, saying the government broke the law by not publishing the amendments for comment before enacting the legislation. The law is beneficial to power company Eskom and Sasol, which produces fuel and chemicals from coal, it said.

Read: ANC wants banks to be forced to fund South Africa coal mines

“If the court agrees with groundWork, big sulfur-dioxide emitters like Eskom and Sasol will have to act immediately to reduce their pollution,” the organisation, which is being represented by lawyers from the Centre for Environmental Rights, said in a statement. “This will requite significant capital expenditure.”

South Africa relies on coal for most of its power, with Eskom running some of the world’s biggest coal-fired power plants and spending tens of billions of dollars building two more. Albi Modise, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Affairs, declined to comment.

The limit of 1 000 milligrams of the pollutant per normal cubic meter is significantly more lax than standards in China and India, according to groundWork. The group said sulfur dioxide leads to increased incidences of low birth weights and still births and contributes to acid rain.

About 25 facilities in the country are affected by the legislation, ranging from plants operated by Eskom and Sasol to coal boilers at the operations of paper and pulp producers Sappi and Mondi, groundWork said in its founding affidavit.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P

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What’s the legal status of Absa’s recent bridging finance when the Chinese Development Bank loan to Eskom to complete Kusile didn’t come through in time?
The Chinese are seemingly asking questions, but ABSA not? ABSA seems to be complicit in breaking pollution laws…

Is it bridging finance or a not so elaborate scheme to systematically acquire a controlling stake in Eskom and by proxy SA?
Rumours are that this is they only reason that they are thinking of the unbundling of Eskom.
The ANC actually realise that they cannot sell Eskom to the Chinese so they want to sell a portion.
Rumours are that this is why the loan agreement is on hold. CDB wants all or nothing.

Is it bridging finance or a not so elaborate scheme to systematically acquire a controlling stake in Eskom and by proxy SA?
Rumours are that this is they only reason that they are thinking of the unbundling of Eskom.
The ANC actually realise that they cannot sell Eskom to the Chinese so they want to sell a portion.
Rumours are that this is why the loan agreement is on hold. CDB wants all or nothing.

AND They use the biggest FARCE called Climate Change (no longer global warming WHY?) They tax us, then open the pollutable flood gates. I just sit back and continually get amazed!!

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