Project Title:Exploring the tensions within and role of civil society in the just and fair transition to a climate-resilient and low carbon economy, through a case study of the Mpumalanga coal fields in South Africa.
Research Theme:Resilient Post Mining Communities
Supervisors: Jennifer L. Broadhurst
South Africa in recent years has seen a growing energy crisis, accompanying its steps toward economic development. The giant state-owned power firm, Eskom, which has enforced load shedding since 2008, has tabled its plans to build new coal-fired power stations to assist struggling power utilities across the country. This has brought public outcry especially from civil society organizations, NGOs and environmental groups, who argue that South Africa doesn’t need more coal-powered stations or coal mining as they are a driver of climate change, so the transition to renewable energy should be accelerated. At least 60,000 jobs are at stake, mostly in Mpumalanga, the centre of coal mining and related power generation. Through these tensions and complexities, there is a need to study the interrelationships among South Africa’s energy needs, the environment, the climate, and the economy as well as the role played by civil society.