In a move that seems to favour #ThumaMinaDBSA – a call on the Development bank of Southern Africa to commit to not fund the Thabametsi coal-fired power station, is happy to hear that Professor Mark Swilling has accepted the position of chairperson of the DBSA Board. Professor Swilling is an academic, renewable energy advocate and Sustainable Development Program coordinator at the Sustainability Institute at Stellenbosch University. With unions, civil society and everyday South Africans calling for a fair, fast and just transition away from fossil fuels, we hope his dynamic experience will bolster the Bank’s work to support a just transition to an economy powered by renewable energy.

With Professor Swilling’s leadership, there is a great opportunity for the Bank’s senior management to finally heed calls for the DBSA to publicly commit to not finance the Thabametsi coal-fired power station. In so doing, they have the opportunity to become a leader amongst South African financial institutions in taking a bold stand against climate wrecking projects. We know that the DBSA has invested in scaling up South Africa’s renewable energy infrastructure, but this good work risks being undermined by funding a new coal-fired power plant. We hope that under Professor Swilling’s leadership of the board, the Bank will truly live up to its vision to make change happen – sustainably, for people and the planet.


350Africa is calling on the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to publically commit to not funding Thabametsi coal-fired power station because of the devastating effects this will have in Lephalale, Limpopo, South Africa.