A memorandum was handed over to Parliament to raise their concerns about climate change and the recovery plan. Picture: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters
A memorandum was handed over to Parliament to raise their concerns about climate change and the recovery plan. Picture: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters

Climate activists demand better green policies in SA

By Sukaina Ishmail Time of article published Oct 19, 2020

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Cape Town - Climate activists demand better management of government policies because its not ensuring a sustainable and just transition. A memorandum was handed over to Parliament to raise their concerns about climate change and the recovery plan.

The SA Food Sovereignty Campaign (SAFSC), Climate Justice Charter Movement and the Orange Mask Campaign all gathered across South Africa at the weekend in different locations to silently protest about the ongoing hunger, pollution and risks of climate change.

Co-operative and Policy Alternative Centre (Copac) and SAFSC activist Vishwas Satgar said: “South Africa cannot continue with a business as usual approach. We note the State President’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan but do not believe it will addresses multiple systemic crises through just transformation.

“Many of the strategic policies envisaged will serve a few in society and reproduce a carbon-based minerals-energy complex that is extremely destructive to our well-being and ecosystems.”

If the government provides short-term needs to citizens due to Covid-19 then the issues are not going to be addressed and environmental harm will increase. The president’s plan calls for fast tracking more offshore gas and oil exploration which is contrary to the urgency of climate change.

The memorandum of demands said: “South Africa’s air, water and soil have been seriously polluted by mining, industry, refineries and commercial farming activities. If we continue exploiting our resources, we could end up with a country akin to a wasteland.

“We therefore disagree with the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan which calls for: ‘The current timeframes for mining, prospecting, water and environmental licences will be reduced by at least 50% to facilitate new investment'.”

Copac organiser and SAFSC activist Awande Buthelezi said the government was not focusing on future generations when it comes to climate change and lack of resources.

South Africa is the most influential country in Africa and has a strong influence as a developing country. Therefore, there is a considerable amount of responsibility as to how climate change risk is confronted.

Cape Argus

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