The Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment says it is generally satisfied with the compliance of chemicals company Sasol with its obligations on air quality; however, State-owned power utility Eskom is not complying with its obligations owing to delays encountered in its air-quality offset programme.
This information comes from briefings received by the committee from the Department of Health on August 17 on the cost of air pollution in South Africa, as well as from Eskom and Sasol on their purported non-compliance with the environmental laws.
The committee was informed that Sasol has progressed in its compliance journey from 80% of its emission sources being compliant with the minimum emissions standards (MESs) to 98% of its emission sources being compliant.
Eskom has told the committee that, owing to excessive financial, outage and resource requirements of 100% compliance, the entity has adopted a phased and prioritised approach for 57% compliance by 2025.
According to Eskom, this approach has been accepted by government.
The committee says in a statement that, while it believes that as much as Eskom is lagging behind in complying with the MESs, the entity should take the risk of financial loss and loss of employment into consideration.
“While the country is committed to these international multilateral decisions, there is a reality of the challenge of the lack of financial resources when it comes to the development of the energy technology to meet the required standards,” the committee states.