Johannesburg - Eskom welcomed a protest by Greenpeace
activists at its Kusile coal-fired power station on Monday, saying it too is
committed to a cleaner energy future for South Africa.
"We have no issue with a peaceful protest as long as it
stays peaceful and doesn't disrupt operations," spokesperson Hilary Joffe
"We too are committed to a cleaner energy future and
support government's strategy to diversify the country's energy mix."
She said a group of about 20 activists demonstrated at the
gates of the construction site in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, early on Monday
morning. They were not allowed onto the site.
Seven activists locked themselves to the front gates.
They were protesting over South Africa's reliance for energy
on coal, which emits excessive greenhouse gases.
A recent Greenpeace report claims Kusile's external and
hidden costs could be as high as R60bn a year.
Kusile is expected to add 4 800 megawatts to the power grid
on completion in 2017. Medupi power station, being built in Lephalale, Limpopo,
will add another 4 800 megawatts of coal energy.
Joffe said the power stations would have lower coal
emissions than normal because of advanced technology that remove oxides of
sulphur from exhaust flue gases.
She said Eskom is committed to cleaner energy through
renewable energy projects focusing on solar and wind power.