Government, Eskom taken to court over Richards Bay gas power plan

A landmark legal battle will get under way at the high court in Pretoria later this year when two environmental groups take on Eskom and the department of forestry, fisheries and the environment over a gas-to-power plant in Richards Bay.

The application by the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) and groundWork marks the first legal challenge of an environmental authorisation of a gas plant in the country. The matter is set to be heard on 2 and 3 August.

Last April, they filed review papers challenging the department’s December 2019 authorisation to Eskom to go ahead with construction of the 3000 megawatt Richards Bay Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP) in the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone.

The applicants approached the high court after Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy refused their appeal against the decision in October 2020. They are being represented by Cullinan and Associates and Natural Justice.

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Sheree Bega
Sheree Bega is an environment reporter at the Mail & Guardian.

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