SA's energy transition must ensure job security for at-risk communities: experts
The president of African Women in Energy and Power (AWEaP), Bertha Dlamini, said that coal mines in South Africa are usually located in impoverished areas and are a main source of employment.
JOHANNESBURG - The president of African Women in Energy and Power (AWEaP), Bertha Dlamini, said that Eskom's transition from coal to renewable energy should not come at the expense of job security for vulnerable communities.
Dlamini said that coal mines in South Africa are usually located in impoverished areas and are a main source of employment.
She was speaking at the African National Congress’ (ANC's) Economic and Energy Security dialogue in Mangaung, Free State on Friday.
Dlamini said that South Africa did not rank highly among the world's top polluters and the rate of transition should reflect that.
"We should not be hasty to communicate a message that threatens employment in the coal mining sector, that threatens employment in the agricultural sector."
Another energy expert also cautioned against a quick transition from coal to renewable energy.
Professor Sampson Mamphweli, former director of the Centre for Renewable Energy at Stellenbosch University, said that people should be at the forefront of the energy transition.
“We are disrupting a sector. Let’s ensure that whatever we do will benefit the people who are affected. And we should look beyond just the power station levels."
The Just Transition Framework says that the country needed R1,5 trillion in investment over the next five years.