Coal DEA Eskom

Eskom is not coughing up for the pollution it causes

Mail & Guardian, 2 May, 2014.

Two things are big in the tiny Mpumalanga dorp of Kriel: God and Eskom. The town of redbrick houses is neatly laid out on one side of a shallow valley, 100km east of Johannesburg. Its township, Thubelihle, is at the highest point of the valley and at the other end are two giant coal-powered stations. They are the two tallest structures after the 10 Dutch Reformed Church spires.

“I must see a doctor,” says Robert Woods, coughing. He brings a wrinkled hand to his mouth to catch the phlegm. He lives next to the Kriel power station, surrounded by fields of waving grass. A kilometre distant is the Matla power station. These are two of Eskom’s oldest and most troublesome power stations. Woods’s zinc shack, painted blue and white, is about 300m from the power station’s triple security fence. There are clusters of shacks around him, home to about 40 people. Grey smoke is streaming out of Kriel’s smokestacks, flowing into the overcast sky…

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