Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 13 May 2015 – A 1050MW coal-fired power station with its own new coal mine has been proposed for Colenso by Colenso Power, a business created to build and run it. Colenso Power claims that the project is necessary to address the present electricity shortage. Commenting on the Draft Scoping Report (DSR), groundWork argues to the contrary that, by the time it is built, there will be a surplus of generating capacity.

This conclusion follows the projections of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010 ‘Update’. The first unit of the Medupi coal-fired power station in Lephalale, Limpopo will come on line in mid-2015 and, even allowing for further delays, the plant should be completed by 2018. The Kusile coal-fired power station near Emalahleni, Mpumalanga is also delayed but the first unit should be producing power within the next two years.

Further, this new plant cannot be reconciled with the national policy on climate change. This is considering the fact that existing coal-fired power stations already make South Africa one of the highest emitters of greenhouse gasses globally, and indeed the highest emitter in Africa. Despite this, the DSR does not contain a single reference to climate change.

Any additional energy needs should rather be supplied by renewable resources.

Read the full press release here.


Johannesburg, South Africa/Paris, France, 13 May 2015 - This Friday, 15th of May, over a thousand protesters, organised by Earthlife Africa, will descend on the French Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa. The protesters demand an end to the destructive climate policy of the French government and French company Engie (formally GDF Suez) in which the French state is a 33% shareholder. As France prepares to host the international climate negotiations, COP21, at the end of this year, protestors demand that France stop exporting dirty coal to Africa.

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg demands that Engie stop its investments in dirty coal in South Africa. Engie plans to build a 1200MW polluting coal-fired power station in the ecologically fragile Waterberg in Limpopo province.

Young Friends of the Earth France will hold a demonstration in Paris on the same day, in solidarity with the South African picket. They demand their government and energy company to divest from dirty energy in developing countries such as South Africa. Rather, they call on the French government to support transfer of resources and technology to developing countries to facilitate community-led renewable energy projects.

Read the full press release here.


Durban, South Africa, 5 May 2015 - Environmental justice organisations the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance and the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance have launched legal proceedings in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court to force eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality to release the atmospheric emission licences and compliance reports of two south Durban refineries.

Atmospheric emission licences govern the amount of pollution industries can emit into the atmosphere.

These court proceedings form part of a critical larger battle to achieve public access to all industry environmental licences and compliance reports.

South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) and Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA) are represented by attorneys at the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER).

Read the full press release here.

COMMENT SUBMISSION: NERSA consultation paper on small-scale embedded generation regulatory rules

24 March 2015 – Implicit within the proposed regulations is a model shaping the emergence of embedded generation of electricity. Poor people do not figure in this model. Rather, it is assumed that embedded generation is relevant only to rich households and businesses. This model responds to the concern that rapidly growing rooftop Photo Voltaic (PV) is reducing consumption by the rich and threatens municipalities with the best part of their profit from electricity sales.

Download the full submission to NERSA here.

Africans unite against xenophobia in South Africa

Maputo, 23 April, 2015 - The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights says that:  “Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right.” This is being violated in South Africa through the xenophobic attacks on Africans.

Read more ....

Watch the YouTube video here.

Maputo Declaration of African Civil Society on Climate Justice

Maputo 23, April 2015 - Climate justice advocates, community peoples and mass movements’ representatives met in Maputo, Mozambique from 21-23 April 2015 to consider the roots, manifestations and impacts of Climate change on Africa and to consider needed responses to the crises.

At the end of the deliberations it was agreed that Africa is disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis although she has not significantly contributed to the problem. The conference also noted that the climate crisis is systemic in nature and is a result of defective economic and political systems that require urgent overhaul. In particular, the meeting considered that Africa has been massively plundered over the centuries and continues to suffer severe impacts from resource exploitation and related conflicts.

Read the full text of the Declaration here.


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