Numsa wants workers to be compensated for life if IPP deal does not deliver jobs

South Africa has signed renewable energy contracts worth about R55 billion with independent power producers (IPP).

The signing of power purchase agreements for the 27 mostly solar and wind projects was delayed for over two years under former president Jacob Zuma.

Aubrey Masango spoke to the South African Renewable Energy Council's Terrence Govender to find out more about the project.

At the moment we do have an IRP 2010 that has been approved and it has in it a mixture of technologies - coal, renewable energy, gas, hydro and nuclear as well. That plan is supposed to be review every two years.

Terrence Govender, chairperson of the SA Renewable Energy Council

Govender explains how the deal will affect issues of job creation.

The project that was signed last night, R 15 billion over 20 years will be spent on socio-economic and economic development activities.

Terrence Govender, chairperson of the SA Renewable Energy Council

The contracts signed yesterday are not the first of its kind in South Africa, we do have over 4 000 to 5 000 megawatts of renewables already in operation. So since 2011 we have been creating the skills in the country and now we will be using them. At the same time we will be bringing in new jobs during the construction and ONM period.

Terrence Govender, chairperson of the SA Renewable Energy Council

Meanwhile The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is unhappy about the signing of the deal.

Spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi says it will continue to fight the agreement.

Last year, Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe on various platforms confirmed that the conclusion of those contracts would mean the automatic closure of four coal fired power stations in Mpumalanga and the loss of thousands of jobs. We are very skeptical about the minister's promises around job creation.

Phakamile Hlubi, Numsa spokesperson

We want enforceable guarantee that number one jobs will be protected but if people are going to lose their jobs then as Numsa we are demanding that workers must be compensated for life.

Phakamile Hlubi, Numsa spokesperson

Click on the link below to listen to listen to the full interview...


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