Africa: South Africa Must Place Climate Crisis Literacy At the Centre of Its Education System

opinion

The climate crisis affects us all and will become an increasingly urgent topic in future. We need to make education on the crisis a central subject at schools and universities.

South Africa is a country struggling with soaring unemployment, world-topping inequality, gender-based violence, femicide, horrifying serious crime statistics with a murder rate worse than war-torn countries and increasing annually, runaway corruption, poverty, rapidly increasing national debt moving the country closer to a sovereign debt crisis, slow growth and multiple other socioeconomics ills.

Climate change is not perceived as a primary, bread-and-butter issue when discussing topics that directly impact the material conditions of South Africans, even though rivers are drying up and water security is becoming tenuous throughout the country.

Communities that neighbour industrial smelters and boilers, such as Secunda and Vanderbijlpark, are inhaling poor quality air, leading to multiple health impairments, but still, climate change is not at the centre of conversations.

South Africa is the leading emitter of greenhouse gases on the continent and the 14th globally, emitting 456 MtCO2, which is 1.3 % of total global emissions. Sasol is the world's biggest single-site greenhouse emitter, but, like other big emitters in the country, contributes heavily towards employment -...

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