Two NGOs want Sasol, Eskom gone for polluting space

Sasol’s plant in Secunda and the NatRef oil refinery have now also been listed as messing up the air that people breathe.


Two Non-Profit Organisations or NGOs are heading to the Tshwane High Court to force the South African government to respect the constitutional rights of people with regard to the air pollution being caused by Mpumalanga’s Sasol and Eskom power plants. 

The NGOs want the Judge to declare the air pollution a violation of people’s constitutional rights and to force the government to take action to enforce the Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) that calls for a drastic reduction of air pollution.

The organisations are GroundWork and the Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action.

In a statement, the two NGOs said papers were served on Friday at the Tshwane high court and the concern is that government “is not holding the big polluters to account”. 

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83% of South Africa’s coal production is in Mpumalanga.

Of the utility’s 18 coal-fired power plants, 12 are in Mpumalanga. 



Sasol’s coal-to-liquids plant in Secunda and the NatRef oil refinery in Free State also have been mentioned as polluters. 

“The area has been plagued with deadly air quality for decades,” GroundWork said. 

GroundWork said in 2012 an air quality management plan was published by the government to clean up the air pollution but since then little had change.

Amongst those that the NGOs demand should account for Eskom and Sasol’s air pollution is President Cyril Ramaphosa, environmental affairs minister Barbara Creecy and air quality officer Dr Thuli Khumalo.

 (edited by ZK) 

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