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International Rivers calls on SA to not import hydropower from DRC

Eyewitness News logo Eyewitness News 2019-10-16 Nkosikhona Duma

a lamp that is sitting in the dark: Light bulb. © Light bulb. DURBAN - There are calls for South Africa to refrain from importing power from the Democratic Republic of Congo's Inga 3 project.

The non-profit organisation, International Rivers, claimed the foreign-owned hydropower would cost R400 million more per annum compared to domestic power.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe is expected to lobby support for the power import at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning.

Government said the country's integrated resource plan aimed to map out the future of power generation in the cheapest and less harmful way.

But International Rivers claimed importing power generated from the Inga 3 project in the DRC would be expensive.

Spokesperson Siziwe Mota said: “The Inga 3 is not the least cost option, which is really a key consideration in deciding South Africa’s energy mix. Large hydropower is destructive to the environment, the climate and results in the displacement of people who rely on rivers for their sustenance.”

The organisation called for government to consider greater investment in locally produced renewable power generation to save costs.

It called for government to scrap the Inga 3 project from the integrated resource plan and send the plan back for public consultations. 

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