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Coal plant developer decides to battle on

2 November 2017 at 1:25 pm

Picture: James Oatway for CER
Picture: James Oatway for CER

Despite a clear ruling by the Pretoria High Court earlier this year on the need for climate impacts to be considered prior to authorisation of a coal power plant, another independent coal power developer hopes to win a court battle to allow it to build a coal-fired power station without first having its environmental approval reconsidered with a comprehensive climate impact assessment.

In August 2017, Environmental justice organisation groundWork, represented by the Centre for Environmental Rights, instituted court proceedings to set aside the environmental approval given by the Department of Environmental Affairs to Kuyasa Mining (Pty) Ltd on behalf of KiPower (Pty) Ltd, citing the authoritative court judgement by the Pretoria High Court in the Thabametsi coal power plant case in March 2017.

In September 2017, KiPower and Kuyasa withdrew their opposition to the review of the environmental authorisation, indicating that they would be applying afresh for an environmental authorisation for the project.

However, on 18 October 2017, KiPower and Kuyasa gave notice that they now again intend to oppose groundWork’s court challenge.

The particular technology KiPower proposes using in the coal power plant would result in unacceptably high greenhouse gas emissions – as Thabametsi’s climate change impact assessment has shown.  These significant climate impacts cannot be substantially mitigated.

groundWork and the Centre for Environmental Rights, along with environmental justice organisation Earthlife Africa Johannesburg, are part of the Life After Coal/Impilo Ngaphandle Kwamalahle campaign. This is a joint campaign which aims to discourage investment in new coal-fired power stations and mines; accelerate the retirement of South Africa’s coal infrastructure; and enable a just transition to renewable energy systems for the people.


For media queries, please contact Annette Gibbs on or 082 467 1295.

Life After Coal Campaign organisations (Centre for Environmental RightsEarthlife Africa Jhb and groundWork):

Centre for Environmental RightsAnnette Gibbs, Email: 082 467 1295

groundWork: Bobby Peek, Email:, Mobile: 082 464 1383

Earthlife AfricaMakoma LekalakalaEmail:, Mobile: 082 682 9177



Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

Report a Violation

National Environmental Crimes & Incidents Hotline (24 hours): 0800 205 005

In addition, there are a number of national and provincial hotlines that may be useful.

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