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Centre for Environmental Rights - Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Pollution & Climate Change

Key information

The CER regularly requests information from state bodies and private parties in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000, or otherwise, to facilitate the its advocacy campaigns and support litigation. Here is some of the key information we have recently obtained.

Eskom

Eskom’s latest atmospheric emission licences (AELs)

Eskom’s pre-feasibility study for expanding the lifespans of Eskom coal-fired power stations

On 3 October 2016, the CER submitted a PAIA request to Eskom for records relating to its pre-feasibility study for expanding the lifespans of its coal-fired power stations. In a letter dated 21 November 2016, Eskom requested legal advice from the Capital Group on whether or not it may sever some of the information requested by the CER.

Eskom’s emission reduction plans and decommissioning plans (1 December 2016)

On 25 April 2016, the CER, on behalf of groundWork, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (ELA), the Highveld Environmental Justice Network (HEJN), and the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance addressed a letter to Eskom in terms of which it sought copies of the latest emission reduction plans, compliance roadmaps, and decommissioning schedule and plans for all 15 of Eskom’s coal-fired power stations.  On 12 May 2016, Eskom required the CER to apply for access to these document in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act – which it duly did. Since then, Eskom has asked for several extensions to provide the records, which, to date, have not been received. Eskom’s failure to make a decision in relation to the CER’s PAIA request had the result that the request was deemed to be refused. The CER appealed this refusal.The appeal was not decided. On 2 December 2016, Eskom provided the CER with the records:

The most recent annual emission reports from Eskom Power Station (received on 22 June 2017)

Eskom Health Studies

In response to a Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 application by the Centre to Eskom for:”copies of all research studies and reports conducted by or for Eskom since 1990 on the impacts of human health of the atmospheric emissions from Eskom’s coal-fired power stations and the costs associated with those health impacts, including but not limited to studies and reports prepared by Infotox (Pty) Ltd and Airshed Planning Professionals (Pty) Ltd”,

Eskom made two 2006 health studies it had commissioned available:

In making the reports available, Eskom advised: “after representation receive from a third party, we have decided to sever any mention made of the third party as they had no chance to comment on the findings in the report and they believe this could cause harm to their commercial and financial interest. This, as provided for, in terms of Section 36(1).”

Highveld Priority Area 

Air Quality Management Plans

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.

Contact us

  • Telephone:+27 21 447 1647
  • Fax:+27 86 730 9098
  • Email:info@cer.org.za
  • Address:Second Floor, Springtime Studios, 1 Scott Road, Observatory, 7925, Cape Town
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