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groundWork is a non-profit environmental justice service and developmental organization working primarily in Southern Africa in the areas of Climate & Energy Justice, Coal, Environmental Health, Global Green and Healthy Hospitals, and Waste. groundWork is the South African member of Health Care Without Harm and Friends of the Earth International.


International Waste Pickers visiting South Africa

SAWPA members during an anti-incineration protest in Pretoria.

Pietermaritzburg, Monday, 22 August, 2017 - The South African Waste Pickers Association (SAWPA) and groundWork are hosting waste pickers from India and Brazil, from 21 – 31 August, to engage with local waste pickers, and share strategies to push back on waste privatisation, which destroys waste picker livelihoods globally and locally. Their visit will include visiting the Chemicals and Waste Phakisa meeting, visiting various landfill sites, SAWPA members and municipalities, as an important movement-building step for local waste pickers.

Read the full media release here.

New Treaty’s Entry Into Force Set to Curtail Global Mercury Crisis, Say NGOs

16 August 2017- Today’s entry into force of the Minamata Convention establishes the first new multilateral environmental agreement in over a decade.  The Zero Mercury Working Group has been calling for a legally binding treaty for over a decade and welcomes the new protocol.

Read the full media release here.

Bertha Gxowa Hospital Takes on Waste Challenge

Healthcare Without Harm logo14th August 2017 – Bertha Gxowa Hospital is the latest health care facility to join the internationally recognised Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) initiative, which serves to create a global network of hospitals and health systems seeking to improve environmental performance, while sharing best practices and finding solutions to the common challenges they share.

This Wednesday, 16 August, Bertha Gxowa Hospital will launch its recycling campaign that hopes to move to zero waste as a long-term goal. The launch will be held among staff, patients and visitors. The event will start at 9:30 am and the hospital is inviting media to join the celebration.

Read the full media invite here.

Appeal against provincial approval for mine in water hotspot heard in Nelspruit this week

15 August 2017 - This week, the coalition of eight civil society and community organisations challenging the proposed coal mine inside the Mabola Protected Environment outside Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga, is presenting their appeal of the environmental authorisation issued by the Mpumalanga environment department (MDARDLEA) for the proposed mine to an expert panel appointed by the Mpumalanga MEC for Environment.

Read the full media advisory here.

Thabametsi climate impact assessment reveals staggering greenhouse gas emissions

02 August 2017 - The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) could be giving the go-ahead for what will be one of the most greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensive coal-fired power stations, not only in South Africa, but in the world. Its GHG emissions are likely to be 60% higher than Eskom’s new Medupi and Kusile coal plants.

This is apparent from the final climate change impact assessment for the proposed Thabametsi coal-fired power station, to be built near Lephalale, Limpopo. 

Read the full media advisory here.

Minemata Convention on mercury comes into force

28 July 2017 - groundWork has worked over the past fifteen years on various projects to eliminate the use of mercury in society. Mercury is essentially a harmful chemical that has known negative impacts on health and the environment. In South Africa, we have the sad legacy of imported toxic mercury waste leading to the death and injury of workers in the late 1980s and 90s.

The Minamata Convention text Article 8 deals specifically with emissions of mercury from coalfired power stations (one of five of the most significant source categories identified during the Convention negotiations).

Read the full article by groundWork campaign manager Rico Euripidou in our June 2017 newsletter here.


For more news and our news archives click here, or here to access our collection of media items.