Welcome to Just Us and the Climate – a podcast by South Africa’s Climate Justice Coalition.
Join us as we bring climate change back down to earth and show how it’s not only a crisis, but an opportunity to build a better, more just world.
#023 Karpowerships Are No Turkish Delight
Why is there massive opposition of Karpowerships within coastal towns of South Africa? The Green Connection and a Small-Scale Fisher talk about the risks of Karpowerships. Bringing about their advocacy actions and stories relating to their journey to oppose the power ships, along with sharing the myths and reality of Karpowerships, from research conducted. Moving forward, proposing solutions to the energy crisis, encouraging activism from the public and coastal communities to stand together and take action towards protecting their livelihoods and the environment.
#022 The Public vs the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone - Part 2
Part 2: How this industrial development threatens rural communities livelihoods.
In this episode, we delve into how this coal-fuelled industrial development threatens rural communities living in the Vhembe District of Limpopo Province and the extent to which it is driving a corporate land grab in the region and the failings of the Public Participation Process.
Host Lauren Liebenberg of Living Limpopo interviews Makoma Lekalakala of EarthLife Africa and Mphatheleni Makaulule of grassroots community organisation, Dzomo La Mupo, who have both been deeply involved in the campaign against this ecocidal development. Makoma testifies to the dangerously flawed Public Participation Process in the context of the enormous costs that will be borne by local communities relative to the potential job benefits, while Mphathe gives voice to the anger – and fear – of indigenous communities whose traditional way of life, food and water security is fundamentally threatened by coal and heavy industrialisation.
#021 The public versus the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone - Part 1
Part 1: Why should we be concerned and how is it being challenged legally?
In this episode, the first in a two-part series unpacking the significant dangers posed by the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ), host Robert Krause of Centre for Applied Legal Studies speaks to Lauren Liebenberg of Living Limpopo and Heard Reserve, and Kirsten Youens of All Rise Attorneys.
Lauren, a leading voice in opposition to the MMSEZ will speak of the environmental and human rights dangers of this carbon-intensive heavy industrial development. Kirsten Youens, the attorney representing Living Limpopo, Heard Reserve and CALS will explain how the development is being challenged legally.
#020 The Heart of Coal Country
Telling the story of Mpumalanga's difficult energy transition.
In this episode, we dive into one of the biggest questions surrounding South Africa’s energy and climate crisis - how do we ensure a just energy transition for the people of Mpumalanga? Mpumalanga is the province most heavily dependent on coal for its economy and livelihoods. It accounts for 80% of all South Africa's coal production and 76% of all electricity, generated primarily from 12 major coal-fired power stations, out of the 18 in the country.
Many people of Mpumalanga have a love-hate relationship with coal, as while it brings jobs, it also brings devastating air, water and soil pollution, making it one of the most polluted places on Earth. Coal also drives economic path dependency, pushing out other economic activities. As a result, Mpumalanga has one of the worst unemployment rates in the country, with about half the population unemployed and half in poverty.
As the world moves away from coal, Mpumalanga faces an existential question: will the energy transition truly be just, creating a better future for them, or will they be left behind as the world moves forward to renewable energy?
This episode is hosted by the Climate Justice Coalition's general secretary, Alex Lenferna. He is joined by two inspiring journalists working on the cutting edge of climate and energy reporting. Andiswa Matikinca is an award-winning journalist who joined Oxpeckers in September 2018 to manage the Oxpeckers extractives digital tool, #MineAlert. Thabo Molelekwa is an award-winning health and environmental journalist with a focus on climate change and renewable energy, food security, nutrition, and HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Thabo and Andiswa worked together on a three-part investigative series exploring the challenges of the just energy transition in Mpumalanga. The series is linked in the show notes.
#019 Healing the Frontlines: Nurturing Resilience in the Climate Justice Movement
Addressing the deep traumas faced by our young climate activists.
We must address the deep traumas faced by those who are fighting in our social movements. When we fail to care for and acknowledge them and their trauma, we risk burnout of activists themselves and the movement as a whole. The climate justice movement is no different.
Recognising that trauma is not dispersed equally, young, Black, non-Black, people of colour, women, and queer climate activists shoulder a greater trauma load.
In this episode, Ferron speaks to youth climate activists Mbali, Shaazia, and Gabriel about how trauma has manifested for them in its multiple and intersectional ways while in or outside the climate justice movement. We speak about how to manage our mental health so that we are able to build a lasting, effective climate justice movement.
#018 Eco-socialism in our lifetimes
Learning from COSATU's radical vision of a just transition.
In this episode, we speak to Lebogang Mulaisi, the labour market policy coordinator at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and a commissioner on the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission. Lebogang coordinates and implements COSATU's labour market policy and the just transition to a low-carbon economy. She joins host Alex Lenferna as they discuss why capitalism is at the root of the climate crisis, and why COSATU believes that a truly just transition must mean a radical transformation towards ecosocialism.