EFF’s Floyd Shivambu slams Cyril Ramaphosa for transition commitments from coal to renewable energy

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 10, 2022


Tshwarelo Hunter Mogakane

Pretoria - EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu has criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa for making commitments to transition South Africa from the use of coal to renewable energy while developed countries still largely rely on fossil fuels.

South Africa is one of the International Partner Group nations that have joined hands to bring an end to greenhouse emissions, but it seems South Africa is expected to make the first move while countries like Germany have gone back to importing coal because of the failure of renewable energy initiatives.

Ramaphosa made the recent commitments at the 2022 Conference of Parties – or COP27 summit – held at Sharm El-Sheikh International Convention Centre in Egypt this week.

The conference noted that not much action had been taken since nations signed transition agreements years ago.

The summit noted that the Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration was signed at COP24 in Poland.

The UN Climate Change Conference Gender Action Plan towards climate change was signed at COP25 in Spain. Last year, nations signed the Glasgow Just Transition Declaration at COP26 in Scotland.

COP26 gave birth to the Just Energy Transition Partnerships model, which came with an $8.5 billion (about R151bn) pledge from International Partner Group partners, France, US, UK, Germany and the EU, with the aim of helping South Africa enjoy an “equitable, inclusive energy transition”.

The main question at COP27 was how transition policies could “factor social and economic development into the planning and implementing phases of climate projects that have social impacts”.

During the summit, Ramaphosa reminded the nations of the agreement that was first made during COP21 in France.

“As a country, we are guided by a Just Transition Framework and an Investment Plan that outlines the enormous scale and nature of investments needed to achieve our decarbonisation goals over the next five years,” he said.

He said South Africa was ready, but needed assurances from its partners.

“We are already scaling up investment in renewable energy, and are on course to retire several of our ageing coal-fired power plants by the end of 2030.

“At COP26 in Glasgow last year, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union offered support in the form of a Just Energy Transition Partnership,” he said.

“It is our hope that this partnership will offer a groundbreaking approach to funding by developed countries for the ambitious but necessary mitigation and adaptation goals of developing countries.”

In a video that went viral on social media, EFF MP Shivambu said: “There won’t be any American who is going to build energy security here in South Africa. We have got our own capacity. There’s also a lot of options that we can explore with relation to coal.

“There’s clean coal technology that we can explore. We have got 400 years of coal lifespan and we are just instructed by Americans that ‘stop that and we are going to give you money’,” he said.

Shivambu said Ramaphosa had failed South Africans when he signed the Glasgow agreement last year.

“The most nonsensical thing which was done in South Africa was that COP26 deal which was signed by Ramaphosa because he is the pockets of the West. They are controlling him and using him to control the entire continent of Africa.

“If they want to experiment with the transition from coal to different energy sources, let them go and do it in Germany first,” Shivambu said.

Shivambu reduced the COP27 commitments to what he termed “environmental imperialism”.

“The reality is that we are going to devastate a lot of our small towns and our economy here, if we are going to superimpose a decision that is not managed properly.

“We have got new power stations that have just been built for billions of dollars,” he said.

This month, the Komati power station was decommissioned.

The Presidency had yet to comment by late yesterday.

Pretoria News