- Click here to view a copy of the Inga 3 Too High Cost report. (1.79 MB)
- Click here to view a copy of the Inga 3 Too High Cost policy brief document. (0.12 MB)
- Click here to view a copy of the information sheet on the Inga 3 Too High Cost report. (0.09 MB)
Civil society organisations International Rivers and WoMin African Alliance have published a report that they say provides, for the first time, an independent and authoritative account of the true cost of the Inga 3 hydropower project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for South Africa.
The report’s conclusions are “dire yet clear” in that offtaking hydropower from Inga 3 will be “too costly and an unmitigated disaster” for the country, the organisations state.
South Africa intends to procure at least 2 500 MW of hydropower produced at Inga 3, but construction on that project has yet to start.
However, key findings of the report, titled ‘Inga 3: Too High A Cost’, suggest that State-owned power utility Eskom would have to generate an additional R6.1-billion to R9.1-billion in revenue a year to break even on the sale of electricity bought from Inga 3.
“The Inga 3 dam and its transmission line would have significant negative social impacts and adversely impact between 210 000 and 333 000 people within South Africa,” the report laments, stressing that “Inga 3 would create virtually no new jobs in South Africa”.
Comparable investments in wind and solar, however, could create about 8 096 full-time jobs for South Africans.
Overall, the report found that South Africa’s continued reliance on Inga 3 in its energy plans represents “a grave risk” to the country’s energy security.
The report further assesses the socioeconomic impact of the Inga 3 dam with a particular focus on South African citizens and on women.
It also discusses the commercial case for the dam, comparing it with alternatives on price, before weighing positive and negative social and environmental impacts against each other.
Overall, the report suggests that Inga 3 will deliver poor outcomes for South Africans at a high cost.
“At a time of high debt and unemployment, alternatives appear to offer a more prudent energy strategy with more substantial social benefits,” the report states.
The study recommends that South Africa instead invest in domestic solar and wind generation, which would save “millions of dollars” while serving as a vehicle for job creation.
The report’s policy brief draws out key findings from the report, as well as additional expert analysis, to consider the risks and costs that South Africa is exposed to through Inga 3.
It further shows that these costs will only grow if South Africa fails to act, as the country will either “be saddled with an expensive and damaging source of energy at some uncertain point in the future, or it will be left with a giant hole in its energy plans”, thereby stifling development and the growth of renewable energy.