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Land Claim Could Halt South Africa Renewable Energy Project

Author: Xola Potelwa

A land claim brought against South Africa’s largest sugar farmer threatens to stop a 1.1 billion rand ($90 million) renewable-energy project that will produce electricity by burning leftover cane leaves and tops.

Charl Senekal Suiker Trust, which has 5,000 hectares (12,355 acres) of irrigated cane land and is a grower for Tongaat Hulett Ltd., is part of a group that plans to build a 16.5 megawatt biomass facility in KwaZulu-Natal, according to a presentation on the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s website. Talks to settle claims by four communities bordering part of his farm will take place on Friday, Charl Senekal, the white owner, said by phone on Wednesday.

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