Uncertainty on renewable retraining frightens South Africa’s coal communities


Nelly Sigudla, a qualified fire watcher and part-time control room operator at Duvha power station in Mpumalanga, South Africa’s energy capital, worries for her future, when her main source of income gets unplugged.

Given Masina

The mother of four children lives in Benicon Park, an informal settlement next to the coal-fired power station, which is scheduled to be decommissioned by Eskom – South Africa’s public electricity company – between 2031 and 2034.

Like many employees in the coal-mining industry, Sigudla fears her qualifications won’t be enough in the near future, when renewables take over coal as South Africa’s primary source of new energy, risking becoming unemployable.

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