Pro-Zuma lobby group halts Ramaphosa’s R55 billion energy deal

Pro-Zuma lobby group halts Ramaphosa’s R55 billion energy deal

- A group loyal to Jacob Zuma has launched a legal challenge to stop President Ramaphosa’s renewable energy deal

- Numsa and Transform RSA filed court papers arguing that the proposed deals would lead to coal-sector job losses

- Eskom was due to sign 27 mostly wind and solar deals with independent power producers

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has suffered a political blow at the hands of a group who are loyal to former president Jacob Zuma. The group launched a last-gasp legal challenge to stop Eskom from signing energy deals worth R55 billion.

The North Gauteng High Court agreed to hold a full hearing on the matter, the hearing has been scheduled for 27 March. The National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) and Transform RSA argued that the proposed deals would lead to coal-sector job losses and should be scrapped.

READ ALSO: President Ramaphosa’s South Africa: 5 possible futures

Eskom was due to sign 27 contracts for mostly wind and solar power from independent power producers (IPPs), the deal would have been Ramaphosa’s first major investment deal since taking office on 15 February.

Briefly.co.za gathers that renewable energy projects were placed on the backburner by Zuma’s administration, which instead favoured the controversial $100 billion nuclear build programme.

Numsa said it was confident that the court would find that the process of signing renewable energy contracts violated its rights.

Transform RSA is a grass-roots lobby organisation, which has supported Zuma in the past and even warned the ANC of the dire consequences it would face if he were removed from office.

The group’s president Adil Nchabeleng said they were against the prohibitive costs of IPP contracts. He denied the group had launched the legal challenge for political reasons.

The Department of Energy released a statement in which it confirmed it would not sign the 27 contracts until after the court hearing. The department reasserted its commitment to expanding ‘green’ energy programs.

Numsa and Transform RSA argue that renewable energy sources carry an added cost which would be passed onto the South African public and this would ultimately impact poor families negatively.

READ ALSO: Open Letter: DA’s Athol Trollip responds to Julius Malema

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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