first_imgThe Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) has written a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa urging him to appoint individuals who will be passionate in addressing the global threat of climate change. In the letter, CER argues that leading South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources in2019 requires a very different approach: someone who can ensure regulatorycertainty, but also effective and committed regulation. This call has been made just ahead of Ramaphosa’s upcoming cabinet selection, and CER has recommended that a climate change portfolio be created in the Presidency, alternatively that a new Department of Energy and Climate be created; and that no attempt be made to merge the “dysfunctional Department of Water & Sanitation with another department”. Another option is to create a new Department of Energy and Climate, which will send a strong signal that the ANC and Cabinet acknowledge the massive risk that South Africa faces, and how decisions about energy are directly linked to South Africa’s future in a changed climate. Generation the need to prioritise environmental governance, bearing in mind the dire state of water governance in South Africa; andthe unprecedented global threat of climate change, which we have done very little to prevent or address, despite it already having a more severe impact on the global south, with vulnerable communities being most at risk. In relation to Departmentof Water & Sanitation (DWS), CER describes the risks posed to healthand service delivery due to regulatory dysfunction and corruption at the DWSand at many local governments. Crucially, the new Minister of Mineral Resources has toaccount for and respond to the extraordinary frustrations and anger of bothmining-affected communities across the country about the way in which theirlives, homes and livelihoods have been shattered by effectively unregulatedmining, and communities who have in mind a different development path, and areholding out, at great risk and cost, against that same devastation they see inother parts of South Africa. CER warns of the paralysis and delay caused by poorly implemented mergers, and the need for a strong Minister to fill the extraordinarily high number of vacancies at the DWS and appoint a competent senior management group as soon as possible. BRICS Transition to clean energy Finance and Policy Regulatory dysfunction It calls for the Minister to be someone with a clear visionfor a just transition away from fossil fuels to clean, cheap, renewable energyfor South Africa, and the courage to stand up to the vested interests that areholding the country back and throttling its ability to improve the quality oflife of everyone in South Africa, including the most vulnerable in our society. Featured image: President Cyril Ramaphosa center_img TAGSClimate changePresident Cyril RamaphosaSouth Africa Previous articleThe impact of smart charging for EVsNext articleYoung water warriors from South Africa head to Sweden Babalwa BunganeBabalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa – Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast. The organisation has called on the President, when makinghis cabinet selection, to recognise: AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector “We strongly motivate for the DWS not to be mergedwith another portfolio to allow a new Minister to focus on the mammoth task ofrebuilding and reforming this key department,” reads the letter. The CER also argues that the Minister of Mineral Resourcesalso needs to be smart enough not to be hoodwinked by international miningcompanies now offloading the dregs of a dying coal mining industry under theguise of black economic empowerment, and instead prevent these companies fromwalking away scot-free from the absolute devastation of the natural and socialenvironment they have profited from for the last 60 years. Mainstreaming of climate change – getting appropriateprioritisation of climate considerations across all sectors of government andappropriate coordinated action taken – is crucial to an effective response toclimate change. Firstly, CER writes that the Department of Energy is currently making decisions that have far-reaching implications for South Africa’s ability to ensure a just transition from fossil fuels to clean energy and our resilience to the market upheaval and the natural storms and droughts coming our way. In relation to the Department of Environmental Affairs, CER says it would not beopposed to a re-merger with Tourism, but argues for a powerful anduncompromised Minister, given the central role this department plays in ourclimate resilience which involves holding the environment (soil, air, water,biodiversity) in public trust for all the people of South Africa as well asfuture generations. In theletter to the President, CER highlights some of the key challenges facingthe Departments of Water and Sanitation, Environmental Affairs, Energy andMineral Resources and provides advice on the key qualities that Ministers andDeputy Ministers appointed to those portfolios should have in order to lead institutionalreform. Therefore, a Climate Change portfolio is better positioned inside the Presidency itself than its current home in the Department of Environmental Affairs. Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon developmentlast_img read more