There were amazing scenes at Eskom’s head office in Johannesburg this morning. In a protest action arranged by Greenpeace Africa, the main entrance was littered with “corpses” on cots, and chained together to prevent security personnel from removing them.
Fig. 1: (Fake) corpses on cots block the main entrance to Eskom’s Megawatt headquarters.
When EE Publishers’ investigative editor and cub reporter, Chris Yelland, arrived to attend a prearranged meeting with senior officials at the power utility, his path was blocked by the protest. However, our intrepid journalist was unperturbed by this bizarre scene and squeezed his way through the barricades to gain entrance and attend this vitally important meeting.
Fig. 2: Labels identify the cause of “death” of the (fake) corpses on the cots which blocked the main entrance to Eskom’s Megawatt headquarters.
The protest action follows a recent report which Greenpeace Africa says shows that Eskom’s coal-fired power plants are slowly but surely poisoning the people of Mpumalanga and eastern Gauteng. The activists pointed out that while the corpses at Eskom’s HQ were fake, the people exposed to the toxic emissions from Eskom’s power stations are very real, and really are dying from heart and respiratory diseases as outlined in the report.
Eskom must take responsibility for its deadly air pollution and commit to full compliance with SA’s minimum emission standards, Melita Steele, Greenpeace Africa’s climate and energy campaign manager said.
The meeting went ahead, Yelland said, adding that the protest had no bearing on the purpose or content of his discussions with the executives of Eskom.