Eskom has acknowledged that emissions from its power stations could lead to negative health impact just like many other activities like transport emissions.
The power utility was responding to a report released by US coal plant expert Dr Ranajit Sahu that says that nearly all Eskom power plants persistently exceed air pollution limits stipulated in their licences.
Dr Sahu’s report found that over a 21-month period until December 2017, the power utility’s coal power plants exceeded its already-weak license conditions almost 3 200 times.
Eskom says it has been monitoring ambient air quality in Mpumalanga for the past 30 years and in recognising its environmental impacts and legislative requirements, it is actively working on a plan to reduce its environmental impact.
It is doing this through what it calls upgrades and retrofits. Retrofits are focused on its higher emitting and newer power stations and are estimated to cost over R100 billion between now and March 2030. It also estimated that up to 40 000 households in Mpumalanga will be switched to cleaner energy by 2025.