South Africa | Environment Minister upholds that power company must comply with air pollution regulations

Photo: © Mujahid Safodien-Greenpeace

Health Care Without Harm’s partner in South Africa, groundWork, as part of a coalition of community and civil society organizations, achieved an incremental victory for public health in the highly polluted Mpumalanga Highveld region when South Africa’s Environment Minister rejected the public power company Eskom’s objection to complying with air pollution regulations and upheld the enforcement action against the utility’s Kendal power station.

In her decision, Environment Minister Barbara Creecy stated that she is “mindful of the fact that failure to take action to bring [Kendal] back into compliance … will continue to present serious environmental impacts and health threats to the affected communities.”

“Although Minister Creecy’s decision gives Eskom more time to comply, her decision sends an important signal to Eskom that the dangerous health impacts of its emissions are unacceptable,” said Thomas Mnnguni, groundWork’s Community Campaigner

On 28 April and 14 May 2020, groundWork and its partners presented Minister Creecy with new evidence that showed that emissions from Kendal power station alone were responsible for as many as 274 early deaths between November 2018 and October 2019. From April 2016 to March 2020, Eskom had more than 2800 exceedances of the particulate matter limits in its atmospheric emission licence.

Learn more from groundWork.

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