Coal and eMalahleni's poisoned people
A Greenpeace investigation of Witbank, which has the world’s dirtiest air, sheds light on the impact of coal on humans. A photo essay explains.
After studying air quality in the Witbank area for almost two years, a team of scientists from the European Union found that Witbank’s air was the world’s dirtiest – even when compared to the likes of Beijing, where people wear face masks to protect themselves from air pollution.
Greenpeace says it is no coincidence that Mpumalanga is also home to 11 of Eskom’s coal-fired power stations. A 12th one is currently being built and when completed, Kusile will be one of the world’s largest, burning 17-million tons of coal a year. It will also ramp up South Africa's carbon emissions by another 10% - cementing the country’s position as one of the world's highest contributors to climate change.
The photographic exhibition, titled “The Poisoned People”, was on display at the Women’s Gaol, Constitution Hill, between August 21 and 25.