Black Energy Professionals Association is one of several organisations which this week have made public submissions to Parliament’s energy committee on the draft Integrated Resources Plan.

CAPE TOWN – The Black Energy Professionals Association (BEPA) is warning of thousands of job losses and a collapse of the coal and nuclear industries if government’s draft Integrated Resources Plan(IRP) is adopted in its current form.

The association has gone as far as to predict ghost towns in Mpumalanga and Limpopo if the country reduces its reliance on coal energy.

It’s one of several organisations which this week have made public submissions to Parliament’s energy committee on the draft plan.

It says nuclear energy should also not be side-lined until its true costs are known.

The IRP makes provision for two new independent coal-fired power stations – a move not met favourably by several organisations.

But BEPA is cautioning against reducing the role of coal in the country’s energy mix.

The association’s Meta Mhlari said: “Coal is our own resources; we do not want to wake up and we have ghost towns.”

BEPA argues that the coal and nuclear industries have the highest potential for job creation and cheap electricity.

“The only way you can know the true cost of nuclear is to go out on a proper, public tender.”

Mhlari says a move towards more renewable energy sources must be accompanied by meaningful jobs.

The association wants an audit of new independent power producers to determine whether locals will benefit through enterprise development and job creation.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

Source: EWN