Parliament, Wednesday, 2 November 2022 – The Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy, heard an overview of the minimum emission standard and the 2035 Just Energy Transition (JET) strategy from Eskom at Hendrina power station yesterday where the committee undertook a site inspection and where it also received briefings from Steve Tshwete Local Municipality and the Nkangala District Municipality.

The committee is on a week-long oversight visit in Mpumalanga to, among other things, assess poor air quality in Mpumalanga as the province is among the provinces responsible for power generation, to assess challenges experienced by local government in monitoring air quality, along with the challenges experienced by the Department of Minerals and Energy relating to ageing infrastructure and the need to generate sufficient electricity for the country.

According to the National Development Plan the JET refers to a transition towards a low-carbon economy and a climate- resilient society in a manner that does not impede socio-economic development, it is socially just, and it increases sustainable jobs in the job market.

The Chairperson of the committee, Ms Tebogo Modise, said the objective of the oversight is to assess the air quality management challenges in order to determine the actual capacity of local government to monitor air quality in areas that are greatly affected where there are coal mines.

Ms Modise said it is important to look at the impact of coal mines on the environment but at the same to take into cognisance positive economic spin-off the coal mines have on the national economy and on the Mpumalanga provincial economy in particular.

Eskom said the Department of Forestry Fisheries and the Environment emissions standards now require many Eskom stations to shut down. However, the power utility told the committee that shouldn’t be done prematurely as that would have catastrophic consequences for the power utility and the country. One of the implications of the closure Eskom highlighted was the loss of approximately 100 000 direct and indirect jobs.

The committee continues with its oversight programme. It will today, among other things, engage with local government representatives of Emalahleni Local Municipality who are responsible for air quality management to assess the municipality’s capacity to measure air quality, as well as ability to develop and implement Paris Agreement mitigation and adaptation plans.

The details of the programme are in the link: https://tinyurl.com/jr9he5ar

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON LAND REFORM, ENVIRONMENT, MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, MS TEBOGO MODISE.

For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Yoliswa Landu
Parliamentary Communication Services
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E-mail: ylandu@parliament.gov.za