Open letter to the Parliamentary Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister Gwede Mantashe

WESSA as a partner in the Climate Justice Coalition, will be joining the mobilisation during the week of the 22nd of September 2021 in actions taking place across the country under the banner of #UprootTheDMRE. We do so because the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) under the leadership of Minister Gwede Mantashe, has been a major obstacle to progress on a just energy and mining future.

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. The Business-as-usual approach of the minister and department is out of synch with the global trends that generally show more awareness of and compliance with the letter and spirit of the 2015 Paris agreement.

We need genuine transformative action now, not the slew of new gas, oil and coal related exploration and implementation projects such as the Karpower ships, Limpopo SEZ, and Gazania1. Furthermore, over-eager granting of mineral exploration and mining rights in or near sensitive coastal and protected areas is causing great social and biophysical damage that cannot be aligned with South Africa’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

We urge the DMRE and minister to take this national call from civil society seriously and to act purposefully in changing for the better our unenviable status as the most carbon-intensive and inefficient energy sector of all G20 countries. This will entail an absolute decline in our emission trajectory before 2025 to achieve below 300 MtCO2e by 2030. By acting boldly and appropriately many thousands of diverse new job opportunities around the country will be created.

For more information contact:
Patrick Dowling – Chair of the WESSA Environmental Governance Committee
084 966 1249