A campaign to push for a rapid & just transition to renewable energy for South Africa’s national utility Eskom – the biggest climate polluter on the African continent.


The Green New Eskom campaign is a project of the Climate Justice Coalition. Individuals can add their name in support and get updates using the box below. An organisational sign-on letter is available here.

Read on for more information about the campaign and its demands.

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We are calling for a Green New Eskom – a rapid and just transition to a more socially owned, renewable energy powered economy, providing clean, safe, and affordable energy for all, with no worker and community left behind in the transition.

Join us in calling on the South African government and Eskom to urgently deliver on the promise of renewable energy and a more socially and ecologically just future.

Eskom is killing us. Electricity tariff increases and load shedding are killing the South African economy and hurting the poor. Eskom’s unsustainable debt levels are draining tens of billions in taxpayer money and driving austerity. Its polluting coal power is literally killing our people through air and water pollution. And as the biggest greenhouse gas polluter on the continent, it is causing death and devastation across the world through climate change.

A better Eskom, a new Eskom is possible, if we fight for a just transition to renewable energy that benefits all South Africans. Research shows that a transition to renewable energy can create 200,000 more jobs, compared to sticking with our polluting system. It would also lower the cost of energy by 25%, save 196,000,000,000 litres of water per year, make our energy system more reliable (i.e. no load-shedding), and remove our biggest source of air, water & climate pollution. 

If we are to transition to a renewable energy future, we cannot leave behind workers who have given their blood and sweat to keep the lights on. We must protect workers and communities who depend on coal for their livelihoods. For those workers, a just transition is vital. It is not optional. Inyanzelekile. With millions still lacking access to electricity, we must also ensure access to affordable energy for all. Poor South Africans also deserve an expansion of the insufficient indigent free electricity allocation. 

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More Information

  1.  A rapid and just transition to a renewable energy powered, zero carbon economy, providing clean, safe & affordable energy for all, with no worker or community left behind. 
  2. No new coal power – so-called “clean coal” is an expensive polluting lie. Just Medupi & Kusile power stations are projected to cost nearly R500 billion, almost as much as Ramaphosa’s entire initial COVID-19 stimulus program.  
  3. No to fracking for fossil gas. Rather than polluting fossil gas, new gas plants should aim for renewable hydrogen and biogas, which can help balance the grid for renewables. South Africa and Sasol can and should become leaders in producing affordable renewable hydrogen.
  4. Put in place a robust just transition plan that invests in and protects workers & communities vulnerable in the transition to a zero carbon future. Then, in accordance with decision 5 of the Integrated Resource Plan, remove the artificial limits on renewable energy. We must accelerate the transition in line with South Africa’s fair share of keeping warming to 1.5C. 
  5.  Restructuring Eskom to do away with corruption & bloated, overpaid (mis)management.
  6.  An audit of all energy supply contracts to recover costs on & end overpriced contracts – including the R14 trillion in overpriced coal contracts signed during 2008 loadshedding. Declare as odious the corruption riddled World Bank debt for the Medupi coal power plant.
  7.  Policies & incentives to enable socially owned renewable energy so local workers, communities, small-to-medium businesses, & families can own & benefit from clean energy.
  8. Expand Eskom’s mandate to allow it to rapidly build out renewable energy & energy storage, and extend & upgrade the grid – allowing socially owned renewable energy to feed into the grid.
  9. Ending harmful and regressive subsidies for coal, oil and gas, and redirecting them to urgent needs like education, healthcare, energy access, and renewable energy. The taxpayer cannot keep bailing out the fossil fuel industry destroying our climate and our economy. 
  10.  A renewable reindustrialisation policy that enables a nationwide rollout of renewable energy factories and plants with priority given to vulnerable, coal-dependent, carbon-intensive regions.
  11.  A mass rollout of: solar panels; electric vehicles & accompanying infrastructure; affordable, electrified mass transit; smart grids; battery & storage technologies; and building efficiency retrofits especially for low-income houses; all with policies to encourage local production. 
  12. A massive skills, jobs, and training programme to create opportunities for the people of South Africa in the renewable energy economy and unlock One Million Climate Jobs
  13. No to continued tariff hikes which are making electricity unaffordable. Expand free electricity access for low-income households & ensure all have access to reliable, affordable energy.
  14.  No exemptions to Eskom or Sasol for clean air regulations – including minimum emission standards, and transparency on emissions data. We must strengthen these regulations.
  15. All communities impacted by mining and energy projects must have their free, prior and informed consent respected. A standard which must be enshrined in the law and respected by regulations. 
  16. Beyond just energy, as the Cry of the Xcluded has demanded, South Africa needs a radical Green New Deal which puts South Africans to work building a more socially and ecologically just future and which tackles our deep inequality, unemployment and poverty.
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