re posted from MINING WEEKLY
NUM backs Mantashe on pro-coal stance
Labour union the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has expressed its support for Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe’s pro-coal stance, alleging “coercion” is being employed to move the country away from the carbon-intensive fuel, driven by an “anti-fossil fuel agenda”.
The union says it opposes the R131-billion offered to South Africa by developed nations to accelerate the closure of coal mines and coal-fired power stations. “The closure of the power stations in Mpumalanga must never be unnecessarily rushed, as it will have devastating socioeconomic impact.”
However, efforts are under way in Mpumalanga at Eskom’s Komati power station to advance the Just Energy Transition – a process designed to ensure people involved in fossil fuel power generation get upskilled in renewable energy systems.
In the same paragraph of a statement on March 10, the union says “coal mines must be left alone” and that “South Africa needs to start building environment-friendly power stations”, stating that there are different ways in which “coal can be made clean”, such as carbon capture and filtration.
The union also proceeds to lay blame for climate change on developed countries saying they have used fossil fuels to build their economies over the decades. “They are responsible for the climate change crisis that we are now facing.”
The union also cautions newly appointed Minister of Electricity in the Presidency Kgosientsho Ramokgopa “not to jump high” before meeting all stakeholders.
“For [Ramokgopa] to fully understand all the dynamics [of] Eskom, it is important for him to consider an urgent meeting with us so that we can share notes.
“. . . we do not want to see . . . the privatisation of Eskom through the back door,” the NUM says.