South Africa Blowing Hot and Coal on Just Energy Transition

The government has announced that it currently has no plans to discontinue the use of coal as part of the country's energy mix. While responding to oral questions in the National Assembly, Deputy President David Mabuza said that the country's energy generation is guided by the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019. This means that all fuel sources - coal, gas and renewables - are all considered equally viable sources of energy.

Mabuza's statements come after commitments made by South Africa at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow where a major U.S.$8.2 billion agreement with the UK, the U.S., Germany, France and the European Union was signed.

Further, a recent bilateral meeting between Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Gwede Mantashe, South Africa's Minister of Minerals and Energy was held with the intention of securing finance to lessen the nation's reliance on coal.


Mpumalanga is home to a cluster of twelve coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of over 32 gigawatts owned and operated by Eskom. The satellite data further reveals that the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria are also highly affected by extreme NO2 pollution levels which blow across from Mpumalanga and into both cities due to close proximity and regular eastwinds (file photo).

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