South Africa: Climate Justice Coalition marches to Ramaphosa’s office

Unions, mining communities, climate and energy activists hand in petition

About 100 people marched on Monday to the Energy Ministry in Tshwane and then to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office in the Union Buildings.

The march was led by the Climate Justice Coalition and supported by various organizations including mine-affected communities, the General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA), the African Climate Alliance, the Electricity Crisis Committee of Soweto, the Workers and Socialist Party and the Koeberg Alert. Alliance. Also present were residents of Gauteng townships who were fed up with load shedding and the high cost of electricity, fuel and paraffin.

They delivered a petition with 150 signatories demanding energy and climate justice. At the center of the list of demands, the president must implement an emergency renewable energy plan to end load shedding, and that he sack Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and fix his department.

The petition cites research suggesting the country could solve load shedding by unlocking renewable energy as the fastest, cleanest and most affordable route.

The signatories accused Mantashe of delaying the transition to renewable energy and seeking to “lock South Africa into dirty and expensive coal, diesel and gas”.

Coalition secretary Alex Lenferna said the Mantashe department wants to “put the profits of polluting companies ahead of the well-being of people in communities” and will make the climate crisis worse.

Mametlwe Sebei, President of GIWUSA, said, “Electricity has become unaffordable for the working class and many other people.

He said engagements with the presidency and the Department of Energy were fruitless.

Gladys Dlamini, from Meadowlands in Soweto, who joined the march, said: “All our meat is rotting in the fridge and we have no money to keep buying. We sleep and wake up without electricity. They should give us solar panels.

The memo was received by Adelaide Mashele from the President’s office. They had two weeks to respond.

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