Almal het ‘n reg om te lewe – ons in Suid-Afrika ook. Twee gevaarlike risiko’s wat ons tans daagliks moet trotseer is (1) “besoedeling” wat hand aan hand loop met mineraal ontginning wat besoedeling veroorsaak. Die regering beheer alle “permitte” en hulle reik ook wetgewings uit, saam met provinsiale en munisipale bywette vir regulering. Die ander risiko is (2) kriminele aktiwiteite en terroriste wat tans heelwat beskerming in Suid-Afrika geniet. Die reg vir die boer om te mag voedsel produseer en te leef, word deur albei risiko’s belemmer en word van almal ontneem. Dit het ‘n verdere effek op elkeen van ons se bestaansreg. Die reg tot lewe en beskerming in die kommunistiese grondwet vervat om te mag lewe word nie in die artikel geplaas nie.
Pollution is very bad, it is not only Eskom, but there are other partners in crime too.
SECTION 24 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, 1996
Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.
Lugbesoedeling eindig nie net by die lug nie. Uitlate wat in die lug vrygelaat word, moet een of ander tyd afkom wat deur mense en diere ingeasem word. Dit veroorsaak chroniese siektestoestande en skep ‘n baie groot en gevaarlike besoedelingsvlak vir die inwoners in die gebiede. Op liggaam sowel as omgewing. Die Witbank foto van “Greenpeace” wys die plek aan in Mpumalanga as die wêreld se grootste lugbesoedeling op die stadium. Nie net word Witbank se lugruim besoedel nie, maar ook groot stede soos Johannesburg en Pretoria word ook geraak. Hang van windtoestande af. Witbank is nog altyd beskou as ‘n hoë en gevaarlike risiko vir mens en dier. Eskom word ook in die betrokke dokumentasie vermeld as die sondebokke. En ons weet almal teen hierdie tyd hoe word Eskom se finansies bedryf en ook die “bestuur” wat heelwat verwissel. Die kaart toon ook aan waar Eskom bedryf word.
Hoe lank gaan die besoedeling nie al aan in Suid-Afrika wat soveel wetgewing het, maar hoeveel word regtig toegepas. Dit, terwyl owerhede hul gesiggies wegdraai wanneer daar oor chroniese siektes wat verwant is aan besoedeling (water en lug), gesels word. Wat van ons water wat in die proses besoedel word, juis afkomstig van hierdie groot sondebokke? Myne dra daartoe by en die regering reik alle mynpermitte (ook steenkool) uit. Steenkool is beslis nie skoon nie en was nog nooit skoon nie. Om te smag na asem en asemnood te ervaar is ook nie ‘n mooi gesig om te aanskou en so afskeid te neem van ‘n geliefde nie.
Die feit dat daar oor die 8000 ongerehabiliteerde myne bestaan word nie eers vermeld nie en wat steeds hul kringloop van besoedeling voortsit in omgewing en rondom lewens wat die risiko’s verder verhoog.
Siektestoestande en sterftes word net in Suid-Afrika vermeld en nie in die res van Afrika waar daar hard en verseker gemyn word, onder nog slegter omstandighede.
17 September 2017
Air pollution from coal-fired power stations kills more than 2,200 South Africans every year, and causes thousands of cases of bronchitis and asthma in adults and children annually. This costs the country more than R30 billion annually, through hospital admissions and lost working days.
These are some of the shocking findings to emerge from a presentation by UK-based air quality and health expert Dr Mike Holland who visited South Africa last week.
Dr Holland presented his report to Department of Environmental Affairs on 6 September, and to members of the Environmental Affairs and Health Portfolio Committees on Friday, 8 September 2017.
In 2016, environmental justice organisation ground Work commissioned Dr Holland to assess the health impacts and associated economic costs of current emissions of air pollutants from coal-fired power stations in South Africa. His findings are contained in a report entitled Health impacts of coal fired power plants in South Africa. In essence, the report estimates that the following impacts are attributable to air pollution from the burning of coal in South Africa:
- 2 239 deaths per year: 157 from lung cancer; 1 110 from ischaemic heart disease; 73 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;719 from strokes; and 180 from lower respiratory infection
- 2 781 cases of chronic bronchitis per year in adults
- 9 533 cases of bronchitis per year in children aged 6 to 12
- 2 379 hospital admissions per year
- 3 972 902 days of restricted activity per year
- 94 680 days of asthma symptoms per year in children aged 5 to 19
- 996 628 lost working days per year
- The total costs associated with these impacts exceed USD2 billion per year
These numbers exclude the significant impacts from air pollution from mining (such as coal dust), transport of coal, and contamination of water.
Dr Holland’s report also estimates the health impacts of individual Eskom power stations based on their emissions. His report finds that the most lethal Eskom power stations are:
- Medupi: 364 deaths (also with 453 cases of chronic bronchitis, 1552 cases of bronchitis in children ages 6-19, 15 412 asthma symptom days in children, all at a cost of more than $386 million per year)
- Matimba: 262 deaths per year
- Kendal: 210 deaths per year
- Lethabo: 204 deaths per year
- Matla and Tutuka: 192 deaths per year each
Dr Holland is a freelance consultant based in the United Kingdom
More information about Eskom
About 83% of the utility’s 46,249MW capacity is currently generated by coal-fired power stations. Graphic sourced from Eskom
Eskom owns and operates more than 13 coal-fired power stations which have different coal quality specifications. In addition, Eskom is a responsible corporate citizen which procures its goods and services, including coal, from sources that meet all legislative and regulatory requirements.
Read more:Eskom Enterprises comprises a collection of sustainable non-regulated businesses. Through the combined power services expertise of these entities, Eskom Enterprises has a key presence in Africa, with the ability to assist clients in the maintenance and repair of generation and transmission equipment, LV, MV and HV construction, cable fault finding and repair, project management, plant walk downs, logistics management, tower and line design, electrification, as well as coal and ash management.
Government has introduced a target for the introduction of renewable energy which equates a cumulative 10 000 GWh of energy. The target is based on achieving a large portion of the 10 000 GWh from solar water heating as it is the most cost effective and easiest renewable option to implement.
According to WITS University Professor of Geoscience, Terence McCarthy, “Water security is a very real issue in South Africa. Through various mining activities we are currently poisoning our main drinking water supply, namely the Upper-Vaal River catchment. If this continues we are going to have to rely on Lesotho Highlands water to dilute our own water supply and remedy the high toxicity levels to a point where it is once again fit for human consumption. If we continue on this trajectory we will render our fresh water completely undrinkable within the next few decades.”
There are alternatives …
The True Costs of Coal are colossal, with repercussions already being felt by the people of this country. The choices that South Africa makes now will determine the country’s energy future. They will affect standards of living, levels of job creation, energy access and security, the environment, and South Africa’s economic future. Eskom consistently refers to so-called ‘clean coal’, but the assessments made by BE at UP clearly show that ‘clean coal’ simply does not exist. Instead, the True Cost of Coal is destruction at every step, and investing in coal and Kusile could be costing the country up to R60.6 billion a year.
“It has been reported before that the eMalahleni area has the world’s dirtiest air, and now this analysis of high tech satellite data has revealed that the Mpumalanga province is the global number one hotspot for NO2 emissions. This confirms that South Africa has the most polluting cluster of coal-fired power stations in the world which is both disturbing and very scary” said Melita Steele, senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager for Greenpeace Africa.
Mpumalanga is home to a cluster of twelve coal fired power plants with a total capacity of over 32 gigawatts owned and operated by Eskom.
“Because South Africa’s coal-belts are hidden from view for the majority of South Africans, it can be easy to pretend that they don’t actually exist. The reality is that coal extraction and burning has devastating impacts on the people living in the area. This satellite data now confirms that there is nowhere to hide: Eskom’s coal addiction in Mpumalanga means that millions of people living in Johannesburg and Pretoria are also impacted by the pollution from coal” continued Steele.
“Despite the ongoing air pollution disaster in the South African coal fields and industrial heartlands, our health minister has decided against participating in the first-ever World Health Organisation (WHO) Conference on Air Pollution and Health. This is an unquantifiable set-back for the poor masses of South Africa, whose health and well-being deteriorates daily due to inhaling polluted air. The WHO has confirmed that air pollution, both ambient and indoor, is the largest cause of death worldwide,” Peek said.
The data, generated by the European Space Agency’s new satellite between June and August 2018 and analysed by Greenpeace, has revealed that Mpumalanga recorded the largest NO2 emissions across six continents surveyed.
NO2 or Nitrogen Dioxide contributes to the formation of PM2.5 and ozone, stated by Greenpeace as two of the most dangerous forms of air pollution.
“It has been reported before that the Witbank area has the world’s dirtiest air, and now this analysis of high tech satellite data has revealed that the Mpumalanga province is the global number one hotspot for NO2 emissions,” said Melita Steele, Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager for Greenpeace Africa. “This confirms that South Africa has the most polluting cluster of coal-fired power stations in the world which is both disturbing and very scary,” she stated.
According to a statement by Greenpeace Africa, coal and transport were the two principle sources of air pollution at Mpumalanga, which is home to a cluster of 12 coal fired power plants with a total capacity of over 32 gigawatts – owned and operated by Eskom. The satellite data further reveals that the nearby cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria are also highly affected by extreme NO2 pollution levels, which blow across from Mpumalanga.
“Air pollution is a global health crisis, with up to 95% of the world’s population breathing unsafe air. (South Africa) urgently needs to come up with an action plan that protects millions of people – instead of dirty coal power stations,” Steele pointed out. “The reality is that coal extraction and burning has devastating impacts on the people living in the area,” continued Steele. Other African countries mentioned in the list of largest NO2 hotspots in the wold include Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt. “Air pollution is a global health crisis, with up to 95% of the world’s population breathing unsafe air,” Steele stated.
Compared with many other countries South Africa has relatively weak Minimum Emission Standards (MES), that allow coal-fired power stations to emit up to 10 times more NO2 than allowed in developed countries. In a report by South Africa’s Eyewitness news however, Eskom has said it’s in the process of developing technology to help reduce emissions. The effort is estimated will take up to $478m to complete.
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