The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) is blocking the flow of energy into our democracy. They are ignoring the voices of those most impacted by energy planning decisions, leaving many without access to basic electricity and approving polluting projects while our just transition to renewable energy languishes on Mantashe's desk. Climate justice and our shared energy future demand action.

We are facing interconnected social, economic and ecological crises, which require us to transform our archaic and harmful energy and mining sector to ensure a more socially, economically and ecologically just future. We need transformative action now, which we are demanding.

We demand that the DMRE and related decision makers to:

Let People Decide

The DMRE must uphold and respect the standard of free, prior and informed consent for all communities impacted by mining and energy projects. This must be included in all practices of the government and corporate projects. There must be strict penalties for any company that is found to transgress free, prior and informed consent procedures. As stated in NEMA chapter 1, “the participation of all interested and affected parties in environmental governance must be promoted, and all people must have the opportunity to develop the understanding, skills and capacity necessary for achieving equitable and effective participation, and participation by vulnerable and disadvantaged persons must be ensured”. The DMRE must put in place rigorous and robust monitoring and compliance measures to ensure all exposed communities are afforded this right and strict penalties for any entities who contravene it. Mining rights should not restrict community access to land. Communities must be given the right to say no to all mining and energy-related projects. They must be given the authority to deny these developments if they believe it poses a threat to our health or wellbeing as is enshrined in section 24 of our constitution. This includes the right to a sustainable and just alternative forms of development. Corporations must be held accountable and have their licence to operate revoked for failing to deliver on their social labour plans or for violating other laws and regulations resulting in harm to the wellbeing of their workers, surrounding communities and ecosystems. here.

Implement an action plan for a just transition

The DMRE must urgently, inclusively and transparently develop and implement a just transition plan that includes: An immediate redirection of regressive subsidies for coal, oil, and gas. Funding must be redirected towards a mass rollout of clean and renewable energy generation to provide affordable access to electricity beginning with low-income households. The Integrated Resource Plan must be reviewed to remove constraints on renewable energy, work to phase out all existing fossil fuel generation sources in line with South Africa’ fair share of keeping global warming 1.5C, and contain no new fossil fuel generation build. Polluting corporations must be made to pay for their damage caused and held accountable for ecological restoration through the implementation of taxes and a vigorous and transparent application of the Financial Provisioning Regulations. Workers must be provided with safe working conditions in ecological restoration projects and in the rehabilitation of mining areas. Robust just transition policies must be put in place to protect workers and communities who would otherwise be negatively impacted in the transition, so they can be a thriving part of a more socially and ecologically just future. A mass skills, jobs and training programme to create opportunities for the people of South Africa. It must be guided by the One Million Climate Jobs campaign and prioritise youth and women. These jobs must guarantee adequate living wages and financial support must be offered to displaced workers during the transition. A Green New Eskom - in line with the demands of the Green New Eskom campaign, we demand that the DMRE expand Eskom’s mandate to allow it to rapidly build out renewable energy & energy storage. They must not block Eskom’s transition. A restructuring of the leadership in the DMRE to provide a platform in which to engage with and meaningfully include youth, mining affected communities, workers, unions, and civil society. Policies and incentives to enable socially owned renewable energy so workers, communities, small-to-medium businesses, and families can own and benefit from clean energy. Economic development plans that prioritise public and ecological health as well as gender and racial equity. here.

Stop the pollution and destruction

The DMRE must deny all new onshore and offshore oil, gas and coal exploration, fracking and mining projects. The DMRE must reject the expensive, unnecessary and polluting Powerships. It must also stop support for Special Economic Zones for fossil fuel-based energy programmes or with emission intensive activities, and any new power stations powered by coal or fossil gas. Investments in power generation must be confined to renewable energy sources. here.