Engineering News reports that anti-pollution activists from Greenpeace Africa on Tuesday blocked the entrance to State-owned power utility Eskom’s Megawatt Park head office, in Johannesburg. The environmental organisation confirmed in a statement that the activists used a makeshift emergency hospital scene to highlight the “premature deaths and disease caused by pollution out of the utility’s coal-fired power stations”. Greenpeace Africa climate and energy campaign senior manager Melita Steele said data analysis has, time-after-time, confirmed that South Africa is in the midst of an “airpocalypse”. “Eskom’s coal addiction and its refusal to comply with air quality standards is seriously damaging people’s health,” she noted.
The scene that the activists had set up at Megawatt Park was complete with “patients” in hospital beds and “doctors” attending to them. The hospital beds were labelled with the plethora of diseases caused and exacerbated by air pollution. The incident follows shortly after Greenpeace published a report, finding that Kriel, in Mpumalanga, is the second-largest sulphur dioxide emissions hotspot in the world. Greenpeace Africa also recently published a report that found Mpumalanga to be among the top ten nitrogen dioxide emission hotspots globally.
by Marleny Arnoldi