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Karpowerships Dodgy Procurement Process Leaves Many Questions Unanswered

29 April 2021 - The procurement of Karpowership services as “emergency” power will lock the country into gas for the next 20 years, increasing electricity tariffs and move us away from the presidential commitment to a just transition and low carbon economy.

On 31 March groundWork submitted Environmental Impact Assessment Report comments for the proposed gas combustion Karpowerships application in all three ports, namely Richards Bay, Saldhanha Bay and the Port of Ngqura.

Community organisations have called for Public Hearings on the Risk Mitigation Independent Powers Producers Procurement Programme (RMIPPP), and the selection of Karpowerships as a preferred bidder, taking the lion’s share of the energy procurement. Civil society has questioned how a foreign-owned company was able to obtain exemptions from local content and put us at further risk to climate change impacts with increased greenhouse gas emissions associated with gas.  Renewable energy solutions which are more affordable, sustainable, accessible, and cleaner, with better local content prospects have been deliberately excluded in the build-up to the procurement process.

groundWork, Green Connection, SDCEA, CER, Just Share, 350.org, ONO, Richard’s Bay Clean Air Association, FrackFree South Africa, WESSA Algoa Bay and several fisher communities await the Portfolio Committee’s decision on the request for hearing during the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE)’s briefing on 20 April. and again, on 28th April.

Despite unanswered questions about the procurement process being skewed towards Karpowerships, variable charges on fuel impacting on electricity tariffs and civil society concerns, no decision was taken on the request for a public hearing.  An investigation into the bid process was requested, tabled and resisted brushing aside the Portfolio Committee’s responsibility in holding the Executive accountable. NGO’s are disappointed at the shoddy parliamentary process.

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