14 Activists Arrested Protesting Coal in South Africa

Activists Confront Eskom in Johannesburg

Fourteen activists including groundWork‘s Bobby Peek, Earthlife’s Makoma Lekalakala and Greenpeace Africa‘s Melita Steele have been arrested while protesting at the Eskom megawatt park. Today, three campaigning organizations joined forces to put South Africa’s energy utility, Eskom, under “new management.” Activists confronted the utility to publicly highlight that Eskom has failed to deliver clean, affordable, accessible electricity to the people of this country, and demand a shift away from coal. The organizations installed “new management” members Bobby Peek as the new Eskom CEO, Makoma Lekalakala as the new Eskom stakeholder engagement director and Melita Steele3 as the new Eskom spokesperson.

The protest at Megawatt Park comes in the wake of Eskom’s announcement of further electricity price hikes to pay for new coal-fired power stations.

“We are here today because Eskom has clearly failed the people of South Africa, and we are united in calling for a fundamental shift away from coal by Eskom. Whilst government pumps billions into developing new Eskom coal-fired power stations to power industry, community people’s health is increasingly affected by the toxic by-products of coal from industries. This happens during each step of the coal to energy lifecycle. Those exposed to this constant air pollution suffer from chronic respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis and pneumonia” said groundWork director and incumbent Eskom CEO, Bobby Peek.

See full article from Greenpeace Africa at EcoWatch

Africa Rainbow Minerals 2008 mining operations

In other news,  8,500 South African gold miners fired for continuing to strike against unfair conditions and wages. 12,000 miners  on strike were fired by Anglo America Platinum earlier this month.

Compiled by SabiTaj Mahal for the Earth First! Newswire

Posted in Direct Action Reports and tagged , , , , .


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