The Life After Coal Campaign and Greenpeace Africa are calling on South Africa’s energy minister to cancel the plans to build the coal IPPs.

Highlighting the Minister Jeff Radebe’s statement on Friday for government’s intention to proceed with the procurement of expensive, dirty electricity from two independent coal power plants, the environmental organisations have issued a request for an urgent meeting with the energy minister to discuss these issues.

Last week, the Energy Research Centre (ERC) released a report proving that the two new coal plants, Thabametsi and Khanyisa, would cost South Africa an additional R20 billion, and increase greenhouse gas emissions by so much that they would negate government’s key plans to mitigate climate change, Life After Coal Campaign (LACC) said.

Credible modelling shows that, given the large surplus generation capacity, the coal IPPs are unnecessary to meet the country's power demand, and ensure security of electricity supply.

Moreover, both coal plants would have significant impacts on air quality and health in areas that are already heavily polluted. Furthermore, the power plants would use enormous amounts of precious water resources.

It is for these reasons that the Life After Coal Campaign has challenged - and will continue to challenge - all authorisations for these two plants, including in High Court proceedings still underway.

“We call on the Minister to cancel the plans to build the coal IPPs, and not to include any new coal in the updated Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP). It is imperative for South Africa’s prosperity that we adopt a least-cost IRP that also takes into account the costs of energy options on water, health, and climate.”

“We will invite community representatives from the areas that will be impacted by these coal IPPs to join us at this meeting,” the organisation said in a statement.