Nedbank, one of South Africa’s biggest banks, is having a dirty love affair with coal. 

The bank, which portrays itself as the country’s only green bank, has been cheating on Renewable Energy – having a dirty, sneaky love affair with coal. This Valentine’s Day, South Africans asked Nedbank to renew its vows to a sustainable form of development in the interest of our children and grandchildren’s future.  

On Wednesday, the 10th February 2016, students from The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg painted love notes to be handed over to Nedbank. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, students told the bank to stop its dirty love affair with coal, and to be true to its commitment to Renewable Energy. 


The following day, on Thursday the 11th February 2016, a group of activists visited Nedbank’s Braamfontein branch to deliver the love notes. Aaliyah Kara, a poet and student-activist, performed a poem in front of the bank’s staff members and pedestrians. We recorded the performance, and you can watch the video below.  

In South Africa, Renewable Energy provides us with a viable alternative: a visionary, modern form of energy that can power our faltering economy, save us from the worst effects of climate change, and improve the health of our communities. These benefits are realistic and feasible, especially considering that South Africa has some of the best solar potential on the planet.

Yes, coal did the job in powering our economy for the last hundred and fifty years or so. But that development came at a steep, severe socio-environmental price. Coal is not serving our needs anymore, and Nuclear Power won’t be able to, either: It’s dangerous, and expensive. 

It’s time for investors and banks to face the truth: The era of fossil fuel is over. 


Banks can play a large role in catalysing the shift to a cleaner, more sustainable model of energy production. Instead of making large investments in fossil fuels, they can re-direct these funds into developing local Renewable Energy industries. 

Every day should be Valentine’s Day. We are giving you the opportunity to show Nedbank some more love: 

Send Nedbank a virtual postcard on Twitter today. Tell them how you feel about their dirty love affair with coal. Tell them that they should renew their vows to a Renewable Energy future for South Africa.


Post card February 2016


Hey @Nedbank, stop having an affair with #coal and renew your vows with #renewableenergy