February 28, 2023

CSOs demand affected communities’ inclusion in JETP-IP to address the energy crisis and deliver a just transition

Southern Africa – On Wednesday, 1 March 2023, the Presidential Climate Commission will host an information-sharing session on South Africa’s Just Transition Framework, Energy Plan and Just Energy Transition Investment Plan. In addition to the information-sharing session, public consultations on the JETP with trade unions, community and faith-based and civil society organisations are underway. The Fair Finance Coalition of Southern Africa (FFCSA) views these dialogues as a crucial moment for civil society and the broader public to engage with our Just Energy Transition and the Investment Plan, which is crucial to its success.

However, with Andre de Ruyter’s recent departure from Eskom, combined with his damning allegations that the power utility is losing R1 billion to corruption every month, there is a great deal of anxiety over the future of the Just Energy Transition and the ability of Eskom to implement Just Energy Transition projects.

“South Africans have to endure unprecedented load shedding and soaring electricity prices while Eskom continues to be mired in crisis and corruption. There has never been a more important time for South Africans to participate in and influence SA’s electricity planning processes,” says Courtney Morgan from the African Climate Reality Project, a member of the FFCSA. “There is immense opportunity for real change that could address the electricity, climate and socio-economic crises facing South Africa, but this requires effective and meaningful participation to enable all our concerns and solutions to inform the implementation of our Just Energy Transition,” says Morgan.

“The FFCSA coalition members have experience in engaging with the policies and practices of public finance institutions and are particularly concerned with the role of public finance institutions in our Just Energy Transition. Public finance institutions have both the ability and mandate to ensure tracking, monitoring and oversight of projects which they finance, and if done in an open and transparent manner, in collaboration with affected communities, they could play a crucially important role in preventing corruption, overseeing timeous project implementation and ultimately ensuring that we realise a truly Just Energy Transition,” says Leanne Govindsamy of the Centre for Environmental Rights, another member of the Coalition.

Effective oversight of implementing our Just Energy Transition plans will also rely on ongoing transparency and accountability and the effective and meaningful participation of coal-affected communities and those affected by new large infrastructure projects. Community members have local concerns and solutions that should inform the Just Energy Transition and the related Investment Plan. The FFCSA strongly urges the Presidential Climate Commission to utilise this incredible knowledge and insight.

The Coalition stresses that justice for those most directly affected by a shift from coal – workers and communities – must underpin the Investment Plan. The JETP-IP can only deliver a just transition if meaningful participation informs all processes. Thabo Sibeko from Earthlife Africa, Johannesburg, has said that “Local communities have highlighted the need for socially owned renewable energy; solar powered public schools and transport; new manufacturing hubs to replace the coal economy, including the informal coal economy, and are encouraging new grant financing that will support social protection measures, without indebting South Africans for many decades to come.”

Civil society’s vision for the JET-IP is to deliver real solutions to address the country’s energy, climate, and socio-economic crises, and protect affected communities, ensuring no one is left behind.

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For interviews and additional information, contact:

Boitumelo Masipa:
Tumi@350.org | 0814529096


Fair Finance Coalition of Southern Africa is a civil society coalition working towards ensuring Public Finance Institutions invest in a socially and environmentally responsible manner in South Africa and Africa. The Coalition focuses on issues of climate change and transparency. The Coalition consists of the following organisations: 350Africa.org, the Centre for Environmental Rights, African Climate Reality Project, the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Earthlife Africa, Oxfam South Africa and Justiça Ambiental.