As load shedding soars, Independent power producer Karpowership-SA's plan to create electricity has slowed down following a complaint by a local campaign group.
The environmental impact assessment of Karpowership SA’s proposed project in Saldanha Bay will be reopened after the Green Connection group laid a complaint with the Department for Forestry, Fishing and Environment (DFFE).
The department has halted the company’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) until an investigation is conducted.
Karpowership SA, which has submitted extensive studies about the environmental impact of its proposed electricity projects, said it was confident the issues would be swiftly dismissed.
Karpowership SA spokesperson Kay Sexwale said: “We have already engaged on many of the environmental concerns that have been raised, and we look forward to a continued discussion of our plans. We are ready to produce power that may very well end this load-shedding nightmare."
The company said it would respond in time for a deadline on June 30 as it continues to work through deadlines set by the Department for Mineral Resources and Energy.
ILAWU (Independent Labour and Allied Workers Union) secretary-general Siphamandla Masimula said in the interest of ending load shedding, Karpowership must be left to do its work.
"Why do we still call it load shedding when we should be calling it a blackout, because that's what it is. People are losing jobs and it's the poor that suffer most because they can't afford generators and other forms of alternative electricity. The economy is under severe pressure as it is because of Covid-19. We cannot afford this blackout any longer" Masimula said.
Karpowership SA was selected to provide 1220MW of electricity intended to help alleviate load shedding following a tender process known as the RMIPPPP. Eight other projects using a range of technologies, including renewables, batteries and hybrid systems, were also selected under the 2000MW programme.
All bidders under the RMIPPPP were required to submit detailed studies as part of their bid submission process, covering issues such as impact on wildlife, emissions and noise.
Load shedding is estimated to have cost the economy over R300 billion since inception.