The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) together with Tranform SA have applied for an urgent court interdict to block Eskom from signing 27 renewable energy contracts.
Last night, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe via his official Twitter account confirmed that on Tuesday he will be signing the 27 renewable energy contracts.
Tomorrow, Tuesday the 13th March 2018, I will be officially signing the 27 Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Projects indluding the power purchase agreements with Eskom @Energy_ZA @GCISMedia @SAgovnews #energy #NDP2030
— Minister of Energy (@radebe_jeff) March 12, 2018
However, in a late night application the High Court in Pretoria has ordered the Energy Minister to give an undertaking not to sign agreements with the independent power producers, which is scheduled to take place this morning.
Industry under threat
Eyewithness News reported that the union maintains that the signing of the outstanding contracts would be detrimental for the working class.
The union claims it will lead to the closure of power plants as Eskom would require less coal to produce electricity, ultimately resulting in job losses.
The developments have been received differently by the experts involved in the energy sector. Below are some of the reactions expressed on Twitter.
Shortly before midnight last night NUMSA and Transform SA were granted an urgent interdict to prevent the signing of RE PPAs today. False claims RE will lose Coal jobs cited. SAWEA coordinating response of IPPs for 20 March, to be heard North Gauteng High Court following week
— SAWEA (@_sawea) March 13, 2018
Mr Koko celebrates as NUMSA and TRANSFORMATION SA are granted an urgent court interdict to stop ESKOM signing contracts with renewable energy IPPs. Doesn’t look as though he has moved on https://t.co/juCTQfHvpJ
— Anton Eberhard (@AntonEberhard) March 13, 2018
Here is what NUMSA and TRANSFORM SA told the Pretoria High Court earlier. They were on point pic.twitter.com/216Yq1dhfq
— Matshela Koko (@koko_matshela) March 13, 2018
*This is a developing story.