The Green Connection Edges Closer To Court Face-Off With Karpowerships

This week The Green Connection submitted a replying affidavit to KarpowershipSA companies and National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) opposing affidavits in The Green Connection’s application to compel the full record of decision. The case against NERSA to challenge its decision to grant three electricity generation licenses to the KarpowershipSA companies to operate powerships in the ports of Saldanha, Ngqura (Coega) and Richards Bay is still pending. This court case was initiated in April 2022.

For the Green Connection, it appeared that NERSA made its decision without considering the negative climate change, environmental and socioeconomic costs of Karpowerships, as at the time, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) had not granted the powerships’ environmental authorisations. In addition, The Green Connection argues that the public need to know the details of the pricing agreement – in order to be able to comment meaningfully.  

According to Liz McDaid, Strategic Lead at The Green Connection, “This application to compel takes us one step closer to getting more information about this project because, as it stands, the public still does not have access to the information necessary to make an informed decision about Karpowerships. For instance, based on our supplementary affidavit (by energy expert Hilton Trollip), when looking at the information available, Karpowerships seems to come in at the higher end of the cost spectrum. The question is, why then (three) 3 years later, is it still being pushed as the solution?”

The Green Connection adds that it felt vindicated in its efforts to demand accountability from government and Karpowerships when the Western Cape Government – after doing its own research – announced (23 August 2023) that it agrees that Karpowerships is “not in the best interests” of South Africa. The eco-justice organisation says it agrees with WC Government that future electricity generation should come from low-carbon, renewable technologies.

McDaid adds, “OUTA is also pursuing a court case against NERSA electricity generation licence relating to and Karpower. South Africans do not have access to the information about the actual costs that will come with Karpowerships. There are still too many questions about its suitability and sustainability as a measure to fill the country’s short-term electricity generation gap. The public needs transparency about these projects. We must fully understand the consequences of any decision that could affect our lives and our livelihoods, and we should have the right to say no, when we believe that a project will do more harm than good.”

Further updates on this court date will be shared in the press once they become available. Sign The Green Connection’s petition to stop offshore oil and gas projects


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