Virtual Launch of Documentary “Voices from under a Dark Cloud: Towards a Just Transition in the Coalfields of South Africa”.

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South Africa has initiated the transition to a more sustainable development pathway that involves moving towards a low-carbon economy. At the same time, South Africa still faces a number of developmental challenges related to poverty, unemployment and inequality, and the climate crisis further threatens vulnerable communities and people.

The need for a just transition to a low-carbon economy has emerged as an imperative to ensure the poor and vulnerable are not negatively impacted by the transition and are ideally better off through it. In Mpumalanga, these challenges are exacerbated by the high reliance on coal-based economic activities, service delivery challenges, and environmental impacts from land, air, and water pollution. These challenges have resulted in poor health, death and destruction to people, the communities, and the environment. Encouragingly, in the transition process, many solutions are beginning to emerge that can help regions like Mpumalanga pivot towards more sustainable industries.

Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI), groundWork and Peta Wolpe are engaged as a consortium in a project which aims to facilitate and co-develop a coherent just transition plan for affected communities in Emalahleni and Steve Tshwete in Mpumalanga. In 2021, the consortium produced a documentary to highlight and capture some of the issues, opportunities, and challenges that the affected communities in Mpumalanga face as coal is phased out and we enter a new era.

The documentary, entitled “Voices from under a dark cloud – towards a just transition in the coalfields of South Africa”, builds on a series of webinars and local engagements held over the last 18 months to provide a platform for affected communities to have their voices heard.

To see the full programme for the event which takes place from 15h00 to 17h00 on 21 June 2022 and to register to join this event please click here.