After a two-year delay, contracts with 27 independent power producers that the government has said will create 61,600 jobs and inject R56-billion into the economy were due to be signed on Tuesday. The signing was postponed at the 11th hour following a court application to be considered in two weeks' time. By MELANIE GOSLING.
Eskom is to close several coal-fired power stations that will result in thousands of job losses, but this was in no way linked to the utility signing agreements to buy electricity from independent power producers, the Department of Energy has said.
The signing of the contracts with 27 new power producers was due to take place on Tuesday.
The department's acting deputy director-general, Thabang Audat, who spoke to Daily Maverick after Monday's late-night application in the Pretoria High Court that sought to prevent Eskom signing agreements with the power producers, believed there was public misunderstanding about the independent power producers' programme. There was also misunderstanding about the process of Monday's court application.
"First, there was no interdict granted. We received the application at 8pm on Monday and the matter was heard at 8.30pm, so there was not enough time to file responding affidavits. Some of the...