Coke Herbal, and Eskom’s coal trip

Great news this week is that we are the first local distributor to introduce Coca-Cola Herbal. Coke Herbal is a new formulation for the health food market, containing Calabar Bean, water hemlock and foxglove. Enjoy!

Coal and Eskom
After the failure of climate talks, and the lack of any binding limits, it’s business as usual for the coal industry in most of the world.

But not in South Africa.

We have higher per capita carbon emissions than many European countries, criminal considering that most people are living in relative poverty, not sitting in air-conditioned luxury apartments with the dishwasher going. Eskom has applied for a loan from the World Bank to build a new, massive coal power station. This coal power station would be the fourth largest in the world, as dirty as the two dirtiest power stations in Britain combined.

Meanwhile, as Eskom increases the electricity tariffs to the public, they’re being sued to reveal the preferential tariffs they offer to some of the dirtiest industries. Huge aluminium operations in Richards Bay and Mozambique use as much electricity as the cities of Durban or Cape Town, but Eskom is believed to be offering them below-cost tariffs.

The dirtiest form of power generation, and the dirtiest industries, all agreed behind closed doors. In 2008, Eskom shortlisted Laymeyer International to help them build new power stations. Laymeyer International is a German company blacklisted by the World Bank after being convicted of bribery. They paid a R2.5 million bribe to the CEO of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority.

The World Bank will vote in days, and all it takes is one “no” vote to veto the loan. Perhaps, when Eskom is given an unconditional “no”, it will realise that secrecy and fossil fuel is not the way to go, and will begin to embrace the abundant opportunities for renewable energy in this country.

You can add your voice to the mounting opposition by signing the Avaaz petition.

Collection Points
Please note that after the upheavals with the public holidays, collection points should be back to normal this week.

To order, head on over to www.ethical.org.za.

I’ve waited years to be able to send a newsletter on April 1st. I hope you read it in time! Have a wonderful Easter weekend,
Ian and the Ethical Co-op team