FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The City of Johannesburg has a dirty secret. One, which sadly has escaped the debates ahead of the local government elections on August 3rd 2016. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the City of Johannesburg has some of the dirtiest air in the world. Even worse than some of the mega cities in China and India. The City of Johannesburg is also the most polluted city in South Africa. Despite the pollution, many of Johannesburg’s residents are unaware of the dangerous air that they breathe every day.
Largely responsible for the air pollution is the Kelvin coal- fired power station situated towards the East of Johannesburg. This power station spews out almost 60 kinds of chemicals into the air on a daily basis, including: toxic metals, organic compounds, mercury, acid gases, sulphur, nitrogen and particulate matter. Evidence shows that the pollution from coal-fired power stations leads to chronic respiratory disease, heart disease, lung cancers and strokes. These diseases can be prevented and currently overburden the already strained South African public health system. It is estimated that South Africa’s coal pollution causes 2700 premature deaths per year.
On Thursday the 21st of July, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg will be picketing outside the City Power Offices located at 40 Heronmere Road, Booysens, Johannesburg. The picket will take place from 10:00 am to 12:00pm. The picket is the first in a plan of actions to take place against the power station.
Project Coordinator at Earthlife Africa Johannesburg, Dominique Doyle, informs that: “Despite causing a lot of pollution and using lots of water, Kelvin Power Station is not a reliable source of electricity. Kelvin Power Station is one of the oldest power stations in South Africa, having been built in the 1950s. Millions of Rands have already been spent upgrading Kelvin, yet it is only able to supply one third of the electricity that it is capable of producing”. Because Kelvin power station is so old and unreliable, it produces very expensive electricity. Yet, it has been guaranteed a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement by the City of Johannesburg.
Programmes Officer at Earthlife Africa Johannesburg, Lerato Maregele, states unequivocally that: “The City of Johannesburg, must, in the interest of protecting the publics Constitutional right to a clean and healthy environment, close Kelvin power station down with immediate effect”. Maregele further demands that in the interests of transparent and fair governance, the City of Johannesburg must make the following information available to the public:
1. Who is the current owner of the Kelvin Power Station?
2. At what price does Kelvin sell electricity to City Power?
3. What percentage of City Power electricity does Kelvin provide?
4. What will the position be once the agreement between City Power and Kelvin terminates in 2021?
5. At what price does Johannesburg Water sell the water to Kelvin Power Station?
6. How much water does Johannesburg Water supply to Kelvin?
7. How much does the City of Johannesburg subsidies Kelvin Power Station?
For further information, please contact:
At Earthlife Africa Johannesburg:
Cell: 079 331 2028
Cell: 072 157 2155