To supply South Africa with necessary additional electricity, Karpowership SA Pty Ltd was granted permission to supply the country via their powerships. The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) has now revoked their permission.
One of the main motivations to the energy company’s request for permission was ensuring South Africa had enough power to supply the healthcare system during increased pressure amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Department approved this request on June 26, 2020 and the directive was officially approved on July 6.
According to the Department, the provision of electricity by powerships was an option in case of emergency but this is no longer necessary.
“In light of the fact that it has now emerged that there was in fact no emergency situation, the department has withdrawn the verbal authorisation and subsequent written directive for the commencement of activities listed in terms of Section 30A of the National Environmental Management Act on 13 August 2020,” the department said in a statement.
The Department further stated that the company has since accepted the notice and does not intend to challenge.
Many residents are puzzled by the decision as South Africa constantly struggles with electricity woes and load shedding, and feel that additional energy supply from the ships could have been used to negate power collapses.