Last-Minute Court Interdict Blocks IPP Signing

Last-Minute Court Interdict Blocks IPP Signing

Last-Minute Court Interdict Blocks IPP Signing

Numsa, which represents thousands of workers in the industry, fears the signing of the agreements would lead to Eskom needing less coal-powered electricity and ultimately result in the closure of power plants and job losses.

The department said it would not, however, be concluding the contracts on Tuesday as planned as it had voluntarily chose to postpone signing the contracts "in the spirit of constitutionalism and the rule of law" until after a return court date on March 27.

"In the absence of an interdict, and with the court having expressly informed the parties in court that it would not grant such an order, nothing prevented Eskom and IPPs from signing the agreements, as scheduled by me for 13 March 2018".

The matter has been set down for March 27 at the North Gauteng High Court.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) together with Transform RSA obtained the interdict at the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday night to prevent Eskom from concluding the outstanding renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) products‚ including the power purchase agreements.

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The department of energy, however, said later on Tuesday that no interdict had been granted, and it had instead voluntarily chose to postpone signing the contracts "in the spirit of constitutionalism and the rule of law".

Eskom in 2016 refused to enter into new deals with 27 IPPs due to cost issues and excess power generation capacity, causing significant delays in the development of the projects, selected under bid windows 3.5, 4 and 4.5 of the country's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

"This will also ensure opportunities for economic transformation and access to the mainstream economy".

"This initiative will enable R56 billion of new investment in the economy over the next 2 to 3 years‚ which will immediately contribute to growth in the economy".

The ministry claims that the long-delayed REIPP projects would create 61,600 jobs with 95% of those going to South Africans. At the time, he said the signing of the agreements would be re-confirming government's commitment not only to renewable energy, but also to a solid partnership with the private sector in pursuing government's energy transition objectives for the future.

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