We say no more to loadshedding, and reject the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s dirty, expensive, and loadshedding-filled plan for a privatised energy Apartheid – their Integrated Resources Plan of 2023!

We demand instead a People’s Energy Plan that delivers a rapid and just transition to a more socially owned, renewable energy powered future, providing clean, safe, and affordable energy for all!

We demand a truly just energy transition and a prosperous future for all workers and communities dependent on coal and vulnerable in the transition! No community or worker must be left behind!

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On Wednesday, 20 and Thursday, 21 March, the Climate Justice Coalition and its civil society partners will march with communities and workers across the Free State, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Western Cape, Kwazulu Natal, and Gauteng to assert the right to clean, affordable, and reliable electricity. At the heart of these actions are the struggles of communites and workers in eMalahleni, The Place of Coal impacted negatively by coal’s harmful impacts.

The government’s Intergrated Resource Plan (IRP) would delay the transition away from coal, locking those communities into decades more of deadly pollution, which devastates the health, well-being and livelihoods of the communities living at the coal face.

We will come together to say no more to loadshedding! We will declare that our lives, our livelihoods, and our rights will no longer be sacrificed. We have a right to clean, safe, and affordable energy. Energy that is reliable. Energy that does not break the bank. Energy that does not pollute our air, water, and soil. Energy that does not condemn us to climate chaos.

That energy future is possible, if the government invests in a rapid and just transition to a more socially owned, renewable energy powered future, providing clean, safe, and affordable energy for all, with no community or worker left behind. That is what we demand!  

We will also stand with workers impacted by the lack of investment in a just transition that protects their livelihoods as the world transitions to renewable energy. The lives and livelihoods of communities and workers are not for sacrifice! We demand a truly just transition to a more socially owned renewable energy future that leaves no worker or community behind, not in Mpumalanga, and not anywhere. We must guarantee decent and dignified work and prosperous livelihoods for all those who are vulnerable in the energy transition. It’s time for a massive state investment in a clean energy and climate jobs program as part of an ambitious green industrialisation strategy that delivers widespread economic opportunities. 

We March Because,

After years of devastating loadshedding, the government wants to lock us into many more years of darkness in order to line the pockets of the polluting and rapacious elite at the expense of the people of South Africa. We stand together to reject the expensive, polluting, unequal, and loadshedding filled future that would be created by Minister Mantashe’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), and their awful energy plan, the Integrated Resources Plan of 2023 (IRP 2023).  

Study after study has shown that South Africa could have ended the loadshedding crisis years ago, by investing heavily in renewable energy and storage, and properly maintaining the existing energy fleet. Doing so is the fastest, most affordable, and most reliable solution to our energy and climate crisis. Rather than doing that though, the government has tried time and again to use our energy crisis as an excuse to lock us into polluting, expensive, and unreliable energy disasters, like corrupt nuclear and powerships deals that enrich the elite few.

The DMRE’s IRP 2023 is even worse than previous plans. It would keep us stuck with loadshedding for years and lock the country into decades of expensive, polluting, and unreliable coal, gas, and nuclear power. It does so even though the government’s own modelling and evidence has shown that a predominantly renewable energy future would be cheaper, cleaner, and much more rapidly end our loadshedding crisis.

While the DMRE tries to lock the public and Eskom into a dirty, expensive, and unreliable energy future, it is liberalising the market so that the private sector can make a dash for cleaner, more affordable, and reliable renewable energy and storage. This condemns us to a future of energy apartheid, where the affluent can buy their way out with cleaner, more affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage, while the rest are condemned to darkness with unreliable, polluting, and unaffordable energy.

We cannot sit by while the DMRE condemns South Africa to this privatised energy apartheid. We must stand up and demand a rapid and just transition to a more socially owned renewable energy future. The government must invest in community- and publicly-owned renewable energy and a Green New Eskom that drives that future. Everybody deserves access to clean, safe, and affordable energy, not just wealthy individuals and corporations.

Minister Mantashe’s DMRE has proven time and again that we cannot trust them to deliver on that vision. So, we call on the government to reject the DMRE’s IRP 2023. We call instead for a People’s Power Plan that delivers a rapid and just transition to a more socially owned, renewable energy powered future. We call on them to create it through mechanisms like the Integrated Energy Planning process that the government is legally obligated to undertake but is failing to deliver on.   

Rather than the DMRE’s shamefully undemocratic, unjust, and biassed process of energy planning, a People’s Energy Plan must be founded on true energy democracy. It must give people a meaningful voice in understanding, being part of, and shaping their energy future. It must also be based on the best available evidence, and properly factor in the social, economic, and environmental costs and benefits of energy. It must work to rapidly solve our energy crisis, and deliver economic, ecological, and social justice and well-being for all.


To get involved contact:
Ferron Pedro
Senior Campaigner, South Africa
+27 825652393