This after Numsa and Transform RSA obtained an urgent interdict in the High Court in Pretoria to prevent Eskom from signing IPP contracts. The urgent court application brought by the two organisations on Monday night were to interdict and restrain Eskom from concluding the 27 renewable energy projects, which include power purchase agreements, pending the finalisation of the case.
Energy Mnister Jeff Radebe - who last week announced that the deal would see an expected 61 600 jobs being created as well as South Africa being "restored back to its status of being the fastest-growing solar and wind energy market in the world" - announced today the deal wouldn't be signed until the matter has been "disposed of" in court.
The R56-billion renewable energy deal has been postponed until March 27 when the matter goes to court.
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe last week announced that government and Eskom would sign 27 of the agreements pertaining to bid rounds 3.5 and 4 of the department of energy's acclaimed Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme yesterday, after a delay of almost two years.
"Numsa believes that the signing of these contracts would be detrimental for the working class of Mpumalanga and the country as a whole", the union said in an emailed statement, referring to a coal-rich province that has many power plants.
"The signing of the IPP means Eskom will require less coal-fired electricity".
Eskom is to close several coal-fired power stations that will result in thousands of job losses, but this was in no way linked to the utility signing agreements to buy electricity from independent power producers, the Department of Energy has said.
"About 25% of the project equity is owned by foreign investors acting as a catalyst by providing investment and skills transfer to the establishment of the new green economy", he said.
"All stakeholders should be afforded an opportunity to engage with Eskom, Nersa and the minister on these issues", the union and Transform RSA, a civil-society group, said in the application.
In terms of the interdict, Radebe now has to hold off on signing the IPP agreements until the court hearing on March 27. "The combination of all these factors will have dire consequences for the working class and the poor".
Coal ash disposals in South Africa.
"South Africa's renewable programme can contribute directly to the benefits associated with the necessary energy transition in South Africa and must be allowed to continue", says Martin.