Activists want Kendal power station closed completely

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Activists want Kendal power station closed completely
FUMES OF DEATH: According to environmental action group Centre for Environmental Rights, one of Eskom's most reliable coal fired power plant, Kendal, must be shut down due to it poisoning communities. PICTURE BY TechCentral

The power station has allegedly failed to comply with environmental laws since 2015 and is being charged for killing people.


Environmental activists want the complete closure of the Kendal power station in the eMalahleni area of Mpumalanga.

The activists don’t care if the people of eMalahleni will be impoverished by this but instead believe the air pollution weights more than the economic activity in damaging people’s lives.

The charges against Eskom are brought by the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) and relate to a failure to commit to a clean environment while also calling for Kendal to shut down 2 of its units.

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But activists are piling on the pressure, so that Kendal closes forever and lives are saved.

“Poisonous coal power plants must be shut down sooner rather than later,” the group’s lawyer Timothy Lloyd said, adding this should “urgently be replaced with cleaner, cheaper renewable power”.

Environment minister Barbara Creecy has reportedly instructed Eskom to stop operations at one of the mentioned Kendal units that were found to be poisonous.

Kendal, located 40km away from the eMalahleni town, was built in 1982 and is one of the most reliable power plants in Eskom’s fleet of power stations. Last year, as pressure mounted for the station to comply with air pollution reduction, Eskom began shutting down some of its old power stations – closing 3 units in Hendrina while capacity reduction at Grootvlei will occur before 2020 ends.

At Komati it will happen by 2021 and Arnot by 2029.

“In my view, this will allow (Eskom) an opportunity to carry out the required maintenance and remedial work on one unit at a time in order to bring the units in compliance with the requirements of the Atmospheric Emission Licence,” Creecy said.

She said her department was aware that Kendal power station presented a danger to communities.

 “I am mindful of the fact that the failure to take action to bring the power station back into compliance, among others, will continue to present serious environmental impacts and health threats to the affected communities,” she is quoted saying.

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“I have also noted that Eskom is committed to ensuring that they manage and operate Kendal power station in such a manner that risks to the environment and human health are minimised,” Creecy said.

(edited by ZK)

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