The government has revoked a controversial ’emergency’ exemption permit issued to a Turkish power company involved in the supply of electricity from floating power ships. This follows a recent exposé in Daily Maverick and subsequent written representations to Barbara Creecy, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries.

Two weeks after Daily Maverick exposed the apparent abuse of an emergency procedure in South Africa’s environmental laws under the guise of the Covid crisis, the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) has confirmed that it has torn up a controversial authorisation granted to the Turkish-based Karpowership group, which was angling to sail up to five of its floating gas-burning power ships into local harbours to provide “emergency” power.

The concept of floating power stations was developed about 10 years ago by Karpowership, an affiliate of the Istanbul-based Karadeniz Energy Group. (Photo: Karpowership)

Now the department is under pressure to launch a full disciplinary inquiry into the affair and to hold officials accountable to prevent any recurrence of the abuse.

The matter came to light after Richards Bay Clean Air Association director Sandy Camminga stumbled upon information that the Turkish company had been exempted from complying with mandatory environmental impact…

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