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.



Durban, South Africa, 29 July 2015 – In May this year, business and industry made representations to the Davis Tax Committee on Treasury's proposal for to introduce a carbon tax. The tenor of their arguments were that no more should be done to mitigate emissions and this was backed up by the claim, based on Sasol's 'emissions outlook', that South Africa's emissions are 'below target'. 

Here, we are posting links to:

We are also posting a link to an article carried in the Mail & Guardian, headed 'Corporate SA promotes carbon myths', which gives our view of the overall position taken by business. 


Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 27 July 2015 – Award-winning South African documentary The Bliss of Ignorance will be officially launched online today making it widely available for public access. The new groundWork and Friends of the Earth International film investigates South Africa's complex relationship with one of the country's most abundant resources - coal.

Experts are predicting the creation of a 'sick' generation in the Mpumalanga Highveld region, which is home to 12 of the world's largest power stations. This documentary looks at the impact of South Africa's energy policy - particularly the support for Eskom, the state's energy utility's reliance on coal-fired power stations - on public health.

Read the full press release here

THE LANCET: TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE GREATEST GLOBAL HEALTH OPPORTUNITY OF 21ST CENTURY - Health commission labels climate change a “health emergency”.

Durban, South Africa, 23 June 2015 – The threat to human health from climate change is so great that it could undermine the last fifty years of gains in development and global health, said leading medical journal The Lancet in its 2015 Commission on Health and Climate report. South Africans are at serious risk from the health impacts of heatwaves, extreme weather, droughts, increasing spread of climate sensitive diseases, and associated mental ill health.
This report updates and builds on the ground breaking UCL-Lancet Commission published in 2009 when climate change was first described as the “biggest global health threat of the 21st century”.

Read the full press release here.


Johannesburg, South Africa, 19 June 2015 – In November 2014, the Supreme Court of Appeal handed down judgement in the case of steelmaker ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) against community organisation the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA), ordering AMSA to hand over the 2003 Environmental Master Plan for its Vanderbijlpark steel plant. The Master Plan, sought by VEJA for more than a decade, was eventually handed over by AMSA on 17 December 2014.

On 22 June 2015, VEJA is making the AMSA Master Plan available to the public.
Venue: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, 237 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North;
Date: Monday, 22 June at 11.00.

Copies of the Master Plan will be available

Read the full media briefing here.

GOVERNMENTS RECOGNISE AIR POLLUTION’S THREAT TO HUMAN HEALTH - South Africa agrees on WHO’s first resolution on air pollution.

Geneva, Switzerland & Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 1 June 2015 – The world’s governments took an important step forward in recognizing air pollution as a major threat to human health, by issuing a resolution at the World Health Assembly in Geneva this week. The resolution mandates greater engagement by the World Health Organization (WHO) to address a problem responsible for one out of eight deaths worldwide.

Read the full press release here.


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