The government has set a number of priorities to transform South Africa’s energy sector and prepare a climate change response to achieve the just transition – but it continues to send mixed messages.
The “just transition”, a term heard frequently in climate change adaptation, refers to the need to preserve the livelihoods of workers as countries move to a climate-resilient, lower-carbon economy and society.
In his 11 October newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa said many important sectors of the economy would be affected by the just transition, including agriculture, tourism, mining, energy, transport, manufacturing and the biodiversity economy.
“A transition to a decarbonised economy must address the needs of workers in these industries and in affected communities,” he wrote. “The process of transition needs to be based on the full involvement of organised labour and business in targeted programmes of reskilling and upskilling, creating employment and providing other forms of support to ensure workers are the major beneficiaries of our shift to a greener future.”
The government, through the Presidential Climate Commission, has given an early indication of its key priorities over the next 24 months on the just transition. It is planning a series of meetings to garner consensus, which…