With the recent granting of postponements by the Department of Environmental Affairs for minimum emission standards to some of the country’s highest emitters, the problem of poor air quality is here to stay. By SALIEM FAKIR, ELLEN DAVIES amp DESMOND D’SA.
Some commentators continue to suggest that the poor are to blame for the deplorable air quality in certain parts of the country, and that industry and Eskom should be left alone.
These comments are disingenuous. The bottom line is that air pollution in South Africa is a real and growing concern. It is a problem caused by our continued dependence on a particular system – one dominated by coal.
Clearly the more electricity you consume, the more you contribute to this pollution, either directly or indirectly. But the reality is that those who consume the least, the poor, shoulder the socio-economic burden of this system, particularly when it comes to health.
Poor people living around major sources of pollution are far more limited, not only in their ability to move to cleaner areas but also in their ability to choose cleaner energy sources. As we shall demonstrate, income determines not only your contribution to pollution but also your ability…
Source : Daily Maverick