Energy Minister Radebe says signing of IPP contracts on hold

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"Furthermore, the Energy minister was forced to give an undertaking in court that he would not sign the IPP agreements on Tuesday until the matter has been given a full hearing by the High court", said NUMSA in a statement issued by its General Secretary Irvin Jim.

NUMSA said signing these contracts would be detrimental for the working class of Mpumalanga and the country as a whole.

However, NUMSA and Transform RSA successfully launched a late night high court bid on Monday to urgently interdict Eskom from signing the 27 (IPP) contracts.

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Government's long-awaited signing of agreements with 27 renewable energy independent power producer projects (IPPs) on Tuesday was blocked by an interdict that the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and Transform RSA obtained in the high court in Pretoria on Monday night.

The department said it would not, however, be concluding the contracts on Tuesday as planned as it had voluntarily made a decision to postpone signing the contracts "in the spirit of constitutionalism and the rule of law" until after a return court date on March 27.

In the absence of an interdict‚ and with the court having expressly informed the parties at court that it would not grant such an order‚ nothing prevented Eskom and IPPs from signing the agreements as scheduled by me for Tuesday‚ 13 March 2018.

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"The IPP roll-out will raise the cost of electricity dramatically, because IPP's cost much more than coal-fired electricity", Numsa said. The ANC government clearly wants to make the working class and the poor suffer even more than they do now.

"Electricity prices will skyrocket because of the IPP roll-out; while at the same time that Value-Added Tax and the fuel price are going up, workers are being paid slave wages of R20/hour and less".

"However‚ counsel for the Minister informed the court that whilst there is no interdict granted‚ the signing will however be postponed until the 27 March 2018 when the matter is finally disposed of in court".

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A South African court granted an order that stops the state-owned utility from signing deals with independent producers for renewable power projects worth 56 billion rand (S$6.22 billion), the applicants in the case said. We call on all our members to join us in court to defend their families' and their livelihoods.

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