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Read the Special Report - "We Know Our Lives Are in Danger": Environment of Fear in South Africa's Mining-Affected Communities

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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. groundWork is the South African member of Health Care Without Harm and Friends of the Earth International.

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Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) and the National Labour and Economic Institute (NALEDI), supported by groundWork, invite you to a Webinar on:

People's Voices: Key priorities and challenges for a Just Transition in Emalahleni and Steve Tshwete

Thursday 3 June 2021: 14:00-16:00 (GMT+2) - Zoom



South Africa has initiated a transition to a more sustainable development pathway, which involves moving towards a low-carbon economy. The country is a highly unequal society with many poor and vulnerable people. The need for a just transition has emerged as an imperative, whereby the poor and vulnerable should not be negatively impacted by the transition and should ideally be better off through it. In Mpumalanga, these challenges are exacerbated by the health, air and water pollution that has caused untold death and destruction to people and the environment. 

Yet the voice of the people living in affected communities is often not heard, particularly at the national level. This Development Dialogue webinar aims to provide a platform to hear from, and engage with, people from Steve Tshwete and Emalahleni. It aims to unpack key concerns, aspirations, visions and needs for people in Mpumalanga, focusing on what is required to shift the status quo and make a positive change in the region in terms of employment, poverty, energy, health, and the environment. It forms part of a larger project, funded by UK PACT, that intends to facilitate the co-development of a coherent just transition plan for affected communities in Mpumalanga, with a particular focus on Emalahleni and Steve Tshwete.


14:00 - 14:05: Welcome and introduction, facilitated by Peta Wolpe
14:05 - 14:10: Brief overview of the UK PACT project
14:10 - 14:30:公安局长王云张康第一部.巨大垂乳日本熟妇.学生小粉嫩喷白浆 Introduction by Jay Naidoo
14:30 - 15:15:  Panel discussion with voices from workers, community business and local government from Steve Tshwete and Emalahleni: 
CHINASEXSEX高潮对白.匹配给暴戾A的OMEGA.天天躁夜夜躁狠狠综合 - Lucky Moni, CEPPWAWU
- Promise Mabilo, VEJMA
- Nonkululeko Mthombeni, Emalahleni Municipality
- Alex Khumalo, Minerals Council 
15:00 - 15:50: Open discussion
15:50 - 16:00: Wrap-up / Way forward

About the Speakers
Jay Naidoo is a South African public figure and social activist. He is a board member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, promoting governance and leadership in Africa. Previously, he was a Minister in President Nelson Mandela's Cabinet and the Founding General Secretary of Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

CHINASEXSEX高潮对白.匹配给暴戾A的OMEGA.天天躁夜夜躁狠狠综合Promise Mabilo is the co-ordinator of Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action (VEJMA), a community-based organisation in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga. The organisation was established in 2016 with the vision of promoting awareness of and advocating for environmental justice within the Mpumalanga Highveld and the country. Mabilo is an environmental justice activist and an alumni of the groundWork environmental justice school.

Lucky Moni is an Energy Researcher and National Educator at the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers' Union (CEPPWAWU), based in Mpumalanga.

Nonkululeko Makua is the Climate Change Champion of the Emalahleni Municipality. She is also the Manager for Parks, Cemeteries and Public Open Spaces, in the Environmental and Waste Management Directorate of the municipalities.

Alex Khumalo is the Head: Social Performance at Minerals Council South Africa. He has long-standing experience and expertise in socio-economic development, transformation strategies, community engagement and community empowerment, notably as the Owner and Chief Impact Officer of Lean Logic Solutions, and the Community Engagement Officer at Anglo American Platinum.

About the Facilitator

Peta Wolpe is an Energy and Climate Change Practitioner. She has extensive experience of working in urban energy and climate change, focusing on energy poverty and local level governance and policy. She was the Managing Director of Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA) for over 12 years. She is also an Associate Director of SouthSouthNorth.

Please register in advance for this webinar: 






Final nail in the coffin for proposed Khanyisa Coal Power Station - approval for another new coal-fired power station has been set aside by the High Court.

An Eskom coal-fired power station

An Eskom coal-fired power station

03 June 2021 - In an order dated 27 May 2021 handed down today, the North Gauteng High Court declared that the environmental approval for the planned 600MW Khanyisa coal-fired power station has expired. Khanyisa would have been built on the outskirts of Emalahleni, already plagued by toxic air pollution.

The court order is effectively the final nail in the coffin for the proposed coal plant – backed by Saudi company ACWA Power – which has met countless legal and other hurdles since its inception.

The ruling came as a result of a legal challenge to the project’s environmental authorisation by environmental justice group groundWork, represented by the Centre for Environmental Rights. groundWork launched the litigation against ACWA Power, to challenge the project, in the Pretoria High Court in 2017. It sought to set aside the environmental approval for the plant on the basis that ACWA Power failed adequately to assess the project’s climate change impacts, and that the Environment Minister (the late Minister Edna Molewa) failed to consider climate change impacts before approving the project.

Read the full media release here.

South African Human Rights Commission vs uMsunduzi Municipality - Landfill case to be heard in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday 28 May 2021

New England landfill fireCHINASEXSEX高潮对白.匹配给暴戾A的OMEGA.天天躁夜夜躁狠狠综合

Toxic smoke from the fire in July 2020 at the New England Landfill Site in Pietermaritzburg

28 May 2021 - The case against the uMsunduzi Municipality in Pietermaritzburg is to be heard in the High Court. The Pietermaritzburg landfill site has been in the media for all the wrong reasons dating back to a decade ago. In July 2020 residents experienced the worst incident when the site was engulfed in fire for seven days. Some families had to evacuate their homes due to the smoke emanating from the landfill fire and schools nearby had to shut down. Following its investigation on this matter, the South African Human Rights Commission decided to file an urgent application at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in November last year. The SAHRC expressed its concerns on the environmental and health impacts due to the poor management of the site. The commission accused the municipality of violating the Constitution by mismanaging the site, which is seen as a human and environmental disaster.

Read the full media release here.


Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA) Media Statement - ArcelorMittal South Africa 2021 AGM Participation and further Protest Action

Community activists protest outside ArcelorMittal

Community activists protesting outside ArcelorMittal in Vanderbijlpark.

20 May 2021 – Today, ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) will hold its Annual General meeting. Due to to Covid-19 the AGM will be virtual. The Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA) will once again participate in the AGM to air grievances relating to the company’s failure to protect the environment by reducing its air and water pollution as well as land contamination.

Local communities living in the Vaal Triangle and surrounding areas bear the brunt of AMSA’s pollution. Community members participating in AMSA’s AGM as activist shareholders, remain concerned about the company’s failure to transform its approach to pollution and engagement with communities. We believe that AMSA continues the unscrupulous legacy of its parent company, Iscor Mittal Steel.

Communities of Sebokeng, Sharpeville, Bophelong, Boipatong, and Sasolburg will again be protesting outside ArcelorMittal South Africa Vanderbaijlpark, to hand over a memorandum of demands to management, demanding that ArcelorMittal comply with environmental laws and standards and stop the pollution of air and water. AMSA also needs to manage the safety of their operations and ensure that workers’ rights are protected.

Read the full media release here.

Deadly Air Case: The Struggle to Breathe Clean Air in Mpumalanga goes to Court

Landmark #DeadlyAir air pollution case against South African government will be heard in the Pretoria High Court from 17 May 2021 - Two environmental justice groups are asking the High Court to declare the poor ambient air quality in the Highveld Priority Area a violation of the Constitutional right to an environment not harmful to health or well-being.

Wayawaya settlement

Scenes from Wayawaya settlement on the outskirts of Phola: Image by Daylin Paul

17 May 2021 - Today, the Pretoria High Court will for the first time start to hear arguments in a court case that has become known as the “Deadly Air” case: a case about the toxic air pollution on the Mpumalanga Highveld.

公安局长王云张康第一部.巨大垂乳日本熟妇.学生小粉嫩喷白浆The applicants, Mpumalanga community environmental justice organisation Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action (VEJMA) and environmental justice group groundWork are asking the court to declare that the poor ambient air quality in the Highveld is a violation of Section 24 of the Constitution, which provides that everyone has the right to an environment not harmful to their health or wellbeing”.

The applicants claim that, by failing to improve the deadly levels of air pollution in the Highveld Priority Area (HPA), the South African government has violated the Constitutional right to a healthy environment for the people living and working in the HPA. They are asking the court to order the government to take further steps to improve the air quality in the area.

Read the full media release here.

Government violence against the people of Colombia

16 May 2021 - Since the 28th April 2021, the Colombian people have been mobilising against higher taxes on the country’s working class, worsening violence since the signing of the Peace Agreement, and an economic model that has condemned half the population to poverty.

We are monitoring with concern the grave situation of human rights violations caused by the disproportionate use of force by officers of the law. According to the NGO Temblores, in six days of demonstrations, there have been 1181 cases of police violence, including 142 victims of physical violence, 761 arbitrary detentions, 216 violent interventions by security forces, 56 cases of firearms discharged, 9 victims of sexual violence, 17 victims of eye injuries, 56 complaints of disappearances in the context of the demonstrations, and 26 homicides. A government that resorts to military force to quiet the demands of its people is not a democratic one.

Read groundWork's letter to the Colombian Ambassador to South Africa here.

'Deadly air' case truly a matter of life or death

13 May 2021 – In early 2003, landmark litigation was brought by the Treatment Action Campaign against the government. The TAC confronted the government for not providing proven and cost effective medicines for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to pregnant mothers.

It won the court case on the basis of the constitutional guarantee of the right to health care, and the government was ordered to start programmes for prevention of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV in public health facilities.

As the wheels of justice turned, it became clear that the struggle for ordinary people against HIV would never be the same again and that people could live healthy lives with the virus. The "Deadly Air" case, which will be heard in the Pretoria High Court from May 17 to the 19, is similar to this. The landmark litigation was filed in June 2019 by groundWork and VEM Vukani Environmental Movement with the support of the Centre for Environmental Rights.

Read the full opinion piece here.

Three activists to make their third appearance in Court

The struggle of the Newcastle female activists who were arrested and shot at by the police during a protest against Ikwezi mine continues

Accused Dannhauser Activists

Buhle Kunene, Sindi Kubheka, and Zanele Kubheka outside the Dannhauser magistrate court


10 May 2021- The struggle continues for the three activists who were arrested and shot at by the police on the 12th March 2021 for fighting for their right against the Ikwezi coal mine in Dannhauser – Newcastle. Buhle Kunene, Sindi Kubheka, and Zanele Kubheka will make their third appearance at the Dannhauser Magistrate Court for the charges of public violence. The three were part of a community protest against Ikwezi Coal Mine where police fired rubber bullets at the peaceful protesters.

The activists last appeared in the same Magistrate Court on 12th April 2021 only for the case to be to postponed. The court is expected to make a decision on whether or not to transfer the case to the Regional court. Something positive to draw out of the situation is that the prosecutor decided to drop the second charges of contravening the court interdict against the three.

The three were part of the eight activists that were arrested on the 12th of March 2021. They first appeared in court on the 15th March 2021, where the prosecutor requested for postponement of the case so that she could assess the video footage and see if they were not part of the people who threw stones at the police. The activists expected the video footage to have been viewed and for the decision on whether or not to prosecute them to have also been made, only to find that the prosecutor has not looked at the video footage. We all know that Justice delayed is justice denied.  We hope for a better work from the prosecution this time around.

For further information click here.

Health Groups Call for Health at the Heart of South Africa’s Climate Commitments

07 May 2021 - South African and pan-African health groups are calling on the South African government to recognise that health is the bottom line of climate change, and to put health at the heart of its climate commitments ahead of this November’s COP26 global climate meeting.

In its public submission on South Africa’s draft updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), the Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA), the South African Medical Association (SAMA), and Amref Health Africa note that climate change poses severe and numerous threats to human health: “In South Africa, these include exposure to drought, heat (especially for outdoor workers), wildfires, flooding, food security, and mosquito-borne and other infectious diseases”. “At the same time”, added SAMA, “action on climate change offers one of the greatest public health opportunities of the 21st century”. The groups therefore welcome the NDC’s recognition of the constitutional right to a safe and healthy environment, and offer policy guidance in their submission on how this right can be protected and promoted.

NDCs are the 2015 Paris Agreement’s key mechanism for collectively tackling climate change, requiring each country to define a national target and actions to limit global heating. As of May 2021, existing NDCs and country pledges still leave the world on course for a catastrophic 2.4 degrees of heating, however.

CHINASEXSEX高潮对白.匹配给暴戾A的OMEGA.天天躁夜夜躁狠狠综合Read the full media release here.

公安局长王云张康第一部.巨大垂乳日本熟妇.学生小粉嫩喷白浆For earlier news and our news archives click here, or here to access our collection of media items.