Solutions to South Africa’s crippling energy and climate crisis exist. Yet they are being blocked by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) under the leadership of Minister Gwede Mantashe. Mantashe’s DMRE is holding back a rapid and just transition to renewable energy - the fastest, most affordable way to solve load shedding. Instead they are working to lock South Africa into an expensive, polluting and outdated energy future. They’re also ignoring the voices of mining affected communities and allowing polluting corporations to put profit above people.
That’s why the Climate Justice Coalition is saying it's time to #UprootTheDMRE.
Mr President, Remove Mantashe and fix our energy crisis!
Sign the Climate Justice Coalition’s petition to the Office of the Presidency. We are calling for President Ramaphosa to implement an emergency renewable energy plan to end loadshedding, replace Minister Mantashe, and fix the DMRE.
On the 25 March, 2022 the Climate Justice Coalition held a People's Tribunal, placing the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) on trial for the harm and destruction that's resulted from the departments failure to transform and prioritise a sustainable energy system for South Africa. During #ThePeopleTribunal, community representatives and activists from across South Africa testified to how the DMRE’s actions are hurting communities, workers, our economy, and the environment.
Listen and share widely
#014 The People Versus the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy
You can now listen to the collection of testimonies from the People's Tribunal in this special episode of the Just Us & the Climate podcast.
In 2021, hundreds of people representing dozens of civil society organisations marched to Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) offices, in every province across the country, under the banner #UprootTheDMRE. Instead of responding to the demands or engaging in public debate, Minister Mantashe threatened to sue the secretary of the coalition that organised the march. We wrote this open letter in response.
We now need your help to get the DMRE to respond to our list of demands. Can you send them an email?
We have a draft email ready for you to send.😊 All you have to do is to click on any of the provinces below to email the DMRE regional manager in that province (you will be able to tweak the email if you want to):
The UprootTheDMRE campaign has the following five summarised demands. For the full list of the demands delivered to DMRE offices across the country, Parliament, and the Presidency, click here.
The leadership and structure of the DMRE must be transformed to fulfil a mandate for an inclusive socially, economically, and ecologically just energy and mining future. Mantashe must step aside to allow new progressive leadership.
A rapid and just transition to a more socially owned, renewable energy powered economy, providing clean, safe, and affordable energy for all, with no worker and community, left behind in the transition.
No to new polluting, corrupt and expensive coal, oil, and gas projects. Officials within the department to be investigated around irregular deals. Reject the corrupt, costly and unnecessary powership program. We demand One Million Climate Jobs instead.
Communities must have the right to say no to mining projects, which includes free, prior informed consent, the upholding of social labour plans, and the right to sustainable alternative modes of development.
Minister Mantashe and the DMRE must stop blocking and inhibiting Eskom’s transition to renewables. We need a Green New Eskom driving a just transition to a more socially owned, renewable energy future.
Phone The DMRE
We set out a clear list of demands around transforming our archaic and harmful mining and energy sector to ensure a more socially, economically and environmentally just future. But the DMRE has yet to respond.
Can you now phone the DMRE regional manager in your province to ask them to respond to the list of demands?. Click on your province below to see the phone number:
Click any of the links below to Tweet right away — or write your own and include any of the graphics below.
We are calling on @DMRE_ZA to show real support for our planet! 🛑 STOP THE COAL PROJECTS 🛑 Help us take action! Send them an email today! https://uprootthedmre.org/ #UprootTheDMRE #StepAsideMantashe #GreenNewEskom @GwedeMantashe1
In September, we called on the @DMRE_ZA to show us their commitment to a just energy future. We haven’t heard a word from them! 🙄 Help us push for change! Send them this/ your own email 👉 https://uprootthedmre.org/ #UprootTheDMRE #StepAsideMantashe #GreenNewEskom @GwedeMantashe1
We cannot achieve the vision for a #GreenNewEskom if we don’t #UprootTheDMRE #StepAsideMantashe. Help us get answers from @DMRE_ZA and @GwedeMantashe1! Send this email today. 👉 https://uprootthedmre.org/
It’s time for the @DMRE_ZA to give us a solid plan for a renewable energy future! Join the action to secure #SouthAfrica’s future https://uprootthedmre.org/ #UprootTheDMRE #GreenNewEskom#StepAsideMantashe
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) is blocking the flow of energy into our democracy. They are ignoring the voices of those most impacted by energy planning decisions, leaving many without access to basic electricity and approving polluting projects while our just transition to renewable energy languishes on Mantashe’s desk. Climate justice and our shared energy future demand action.
This mobilisation is a collaborative effort by:
African Climate Alliance (ACA), Bathalbine Foundation, Botshabelo Unemplyed Movement, Climate Justice Coalition (CJC), Green Connection, GroundWork, Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA), Nu Climate Vision, Oceans Not Oil, Project90 by 2030, Sekhukhune Environmental Justice Network, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), South African Green Revolutionary Council, Support Centre for Land Change and 350Africa.org.
And supported by:
Alternative Information Development Centre (AIDC), Collective Movement, Extinction Rebellion (XR), Eastern Cape Enivornmental Network, Fossil Free South Africa, General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA), Greenpeace Africa, Newcastle Environmental Justice Alliance (NEJA), OTT (Orlando Task Team), SAFCEI, Soweto Sukuma Sinqobe, Thembelihle Crisis commitee, United Front, United Front, Women Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA)
Load shedding will get even worse unless we implement an emergency plan to roll out renewable energy and storage and appoint a new energy minister capable of delivering. By Alex Lenferna and Cleopatra Shezia
When facing criticism for screwing things up, blame it on foreign forces. It’s a tried and tested ANC technique to deflect legitimate criticism of their failures. By Dr Alex Lenferna is secretary of the Climate Justice Coalition
The Coalition says it views Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe as the biggest obstacle to a just climate, energy, and mining future. Activists have in the past accused Mantashe of being pro-coal. By Brenton Geach
Cape Town – Ahead of the global climate strike organised by the Climate Justice Coalition (CJC) this week, a demonstration was held on Wednesday outside the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s (DMRE) Cape Town offices where employees and passers-by came face-to-face with what appeared to be a gruesome crime scene with dead bodies laying in front.
Extinction Rebellion Cape Town along with partner organisations from the Climate Justice Charter Coalition staged a Climate Crime Scene outside the local offices of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) on Wednesday.
Members of mining-affected communities and organisations combating the climate crisis have chained themselves to the gates of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in Tshwane, demanding the implementation of policies on renewable energy and Minister Gwede Mantashe’s resignation.
The Department of Minerals and Energy has been given until the 8th of October to respond to demands by the Climate Justice Coalition to scrap plans to build new coal-fired power plants. And to rather use clean, safe, affordable renewable energy. This will help fast-track Eskom’s transition to renewable. They are also demanding answers to Nersa’s approval of three-generation licences for floating power ship provider Karpowership and for government officials of the department to be investigated for irregular deals.