[Media Statement]
SONA 2015: on the eve of Global Divestment Day, President Zuma confirms South Africa to stumble deeper into addiction to fossil fuels

350Afrca.org statement in response to the State Of the Nation Address 2015 
On the eve of a Global Divestment Day of action against coal and oil, President Zuma’s SONA 2015 confirmed that South Africa is stumbling deeper into its addiction to fossil fuels. Despite dire warnings about global climate change and the health impacts on communities of mining and burning coal, the only solution to Eskom’s energy crisis seems to be more of the same.
Instead of an ambitious vision for a renewable energy revolution as the quickest way to deliver Mega Watts, the desire is to exploit more coal and more oil than ever before. The President spoke of 3 million homes currently without electricity but only solar and wind can bring access to electricity to large numbers of rural communities.
The South African Government is placing the old model of coal and centralized energy production at the heart of its future energy plans. With R9.2bn committed to oil exploration, a confirmation of the intent to frack for shale gas in the Karoo, and potential reductions to consultation times with communities affected by new mines, it is clear that Government and the fossil fuel industry remain closer than ever.
What is more, the apparent jamming of mobile communications around Parliament continues a worrying trend toward secrecy. This follows the lack of transparency around the progress of the unnecessary nuclear energy deals, and the frequent challenges faced by communities in accessing information about hundreds of new mines that could impact water and air quality and people’s health.
More and more South Africans are realising that we can no longer rely on leaders and business to tackle climate change and the energy crisis. That is why tomorrow, from Johannesburg to Pretoria, Cape Town to Durban, people of conscience will join the global call to divest from fossil fuels and back renewables. Together we are tackling the banks who fund the fossil fuel industry and calling on varsities to divest so that we can accelerate the just transition to a more equitable economy powered by clean, renewable energy. 
Ferrial Adam, 350 Africa and Arab world Regional Team Leader