Mpumalanga issued directive by national govt to step up efforts to break coal dependency

24th February 2023

By: Yvonne Silaule



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The Mpumalanga provincial government is, in partnership with the Presidential Climate Commission, the Climate Investment Fund and the World Bank, exploring plans to diversify local economic activity to reduce its dependency on coal.

Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane noted during her provincial State of the Province Address that the aim of the partnership was to ensure the re-skilling and upskilling of the most vulnerable in the labour force and to provide support for small businesses and cooperatives in local communities to access emerging opportunities in the green economy sector.

“Notwithstanding the fact that minerals and energy are national competencies, I should confirm that we have accepted the directive of our governing African National Congress to take an active and direct interest in these sectors,” she added.

She said the province would be impacted by the country’s commitment to achieve a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy by 2050, as 12 of the country’s power stations were located there, along with many coal mines.

“Our utmost concern is the people working in these coal mines and power stations. We are also concerned for those who provide goods and services to these coal mines and power stations, as well as those who depend on the workers and service providers to these mines.

“Our worry is that they should not be left behind. The transition will not be just if it fails to ensure that these constituencies of ours are not left behind.”

She also called on local communities, living close to power stations and the associated coal mines, to “remain vigilant in defence of these national assets”.

“Communities need to play their part in exposing acts of corruption and sabotage, aimed at creating frequent breakdown of power generating units,” the Premier said.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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