1 February 2013

South Africa: Has Eskom Resorted to Spying?

press release

Earlier this week it emerged that Eskom seems to have been spying on unions, employees, and environmental groups, including Greenpeace Africa, Earthlife Africa, and GroundWork.

Business Times claims to have received numerous documents that point to Eskom having contracted a special services company to gather information on these different stakeholders.

Yesterday we jointly sent a letter to Eskom CEO Brian Dames, signed by the directors of Earthlife Africa, Groundwork, and Greenpeace Africa. Click here.

In the letter we ask Dames to confirm whether spying has in fact taken place, and what information was gathered. If Eskom has been involved in such activities, then we have asked for a public apology on its website, and to provide us with any reports where our organisations are mentioned.

We have given Dames until 8 February to respond to our letter. Failing that we'll be looking at what further steps can be taken, including the possibility of withdrawing from Eskom's NGO forum.

All three organisations take this matter very seriously, and we believe that it would be completely unethical for Eskom to be engaged in the act of spying on the citizens of this country. The work of civil society is core to the health of South Africa's democracy, and something like spying would completely undermine that function.

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