David Mahlobo. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
David Mahlobo. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

A number of civil society organisations have expressed concern about not being involved in the hastily convened Africa Energy Indaba‚ which began at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on Thursday.

Greenpeace Africa‚ Groundwork‚ Earthlife Africa and the Centre for Environmental Rights said on Thursday morning they did not regard the Indaba as a legitimate process for the discussion of SA’s energy future.

The organisations said the discussion should include members of civil society‚ particularly members of communities most affected by the pollution and harmful effects of electricity generation and labour.

Life After Coal Campaign and Greenpeace Africa met Energy Minister David Mahlobo on Tuesday‚ who indicated to them there would be no further public participation on the contents of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity‚ its approval by Cabinet‚ and its subsequent publication.

The IRP is the country’s roadmap for electricity planning and there has been conversation among interested parties about which energy sources — such as coal‚ nuclear and renewables — the country should adopt.

Mahlobo also told the organisations that the Energy Indaba was not intended to address the IRP in any way‚ shape or form — instead it was for business‚ labour‚ and government to discuss ways to reinvigorate the energy sector in order to stimulate economic growth.

The organisations said they regarded the consultation around the IRP as inadequate‚ and susceptible to legal challenge.

"The serious concerns we have raised with the minister remain‚ even after the meeting that was scheduled on December 5 2017‚" the organisations said in a joint statement. "We now await the publication of the IRP‚ following which we will decide the way forward‚ which may include further litigation."

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