On Wednesday, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has welcomed the decision of the Pretoria high court to postpone the signing of 27 independent power producer (IPP) power purchase agreements.

After the much-awaited IPP signing ceremony scheduled to take place on Tuesday 13 March, South Africa’s energy minister, Jeff Radebe, announced the date has moved (27 March) following an interdict application by two non-governmental organisations.

Transform RSA NPC and National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) approached the High Court, Pretoria for an interdict before midnight on the 12th of March, restraining Eskom from concluding the twenty seven renewable energy IPP projects including the power purchase agreements with Eskom. Read more: NUMSA applies for interdict to block Eskom from signing IPP contracts

NUM concerned over IPPs

Last year, NUMSA embarked on the fight against the IPPs in line with its objectives of protecting jobs in the country.

They view the IPP deal “as a backdoor privatisation of state-owned utility, Eskom.”

“The plan is to privatise 42% of Eskom by 2030 masquerading as the implementation of clean energy. NUM and COSATU successfully fought against the privatisation of Eskom before, we are ready to fight it even now,” the Union said in a statement.

Adding that: “The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) if implemented, will compel Eskom to buy Electricity at a higher price while Eskom can produce electricity at a cheaper price. The proposed agreements are nothing but daylight robbery.  This will cause high scale job losses in the energy, mining, transport and all other sectors in the supply chain.”

Commenting on Radebe’s tweet on Tuesday evening, NUM said: “The tweet made by the Minister of Energy on the 12th of March 2018 is a sign that he has lost class consciousness; it is an indication that he is captured by the capitalist forces.” Read more: IPP signing ceremony moved to 27 March

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

Concerned over the potential threat that IPPs may have on its union members, NUM stressed in a statement: “We are going to mobilise all our members and society to revolt against this planned madness called IPPs. We will also embark on legal court action to make sure that this madness does not continue.”