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Mpumalanga is world’s largest air pollution hotspot - Greenpeace

Mpumalanga is home to a cluster of 12 coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of over 32 gigawatts owned and operated by Eskom.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - Greenpeace has identified Mpumalanga as the world's largest air pollution hotspot.

The organisation has based its finding on data collected between June and August this year.

It shows Mpumalanga, which is home to 12 coal-fired power plants, contributes the largest amount of nitrogen oxide in the atmosphere.

Nitrogen oxide has been found to cause respiratory diseases and it increases the risk of lung cancer.

Greenpeace Africa’s Melita Steele said: “It has been reported before that the Witbank area has the world’s dirtiest air, and now this analysis of high tech satellite data has revealed that the Mpumalanga province is the global number one hotspot for NO2 emissions. This confirms that South Africa has the most polluting cluster of coal-fired power stations in the world which is both disturbing and very scary.”

Mpumalanga is home to a cluster of 12 coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of over 32 gigawatts owned and operated by Eskom.

LISTEN: Mpumalanga named world's largest air polluter

ESKOM COMPLIANCE WITH AIR QUALITY LEGISLATION

Eskom says it's going to need at least R70 billion in order to ensure its power stations are compliant with the air quality legislation.

The power utility has been accused of failing to comply with regulations.

Eskom’s Khulu Phasiwe says the utility is in the process of developing technology to reduce emissions.

“Our estimations are that the whole compliance programme is going to cost a minimum of about R70 billion. And that’s why we have to phase this programme in because currently, we don’t have that kind of money.”

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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