Mr President, it’s past time to fix our energy crisis!

Sign the Climate Justice Coalition’s petition to the Office of the Presidency. We are calling for President Ramaphosa to implement an emergency renewable energy plan to end loadshedding, replace Minister Mantashe, and fix the DMRE.

Solutions to South Africa’s crippling energy and climate crisis exist. Yet they are being blocked by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) under the leadership of Minister Gwede Mantashe. Mantashe’s DMRE is holding back a rapid and just transition to renewable energy -  the fastest, most affordable way to solve load shedding. Instead they are working to lock South Africa into an expensive, polluting and outdated energy future. They’re also ignoring the voices of mining affected communities and allowing polluting corporations to put profit above people. That’s why we are calling on the President to implement an emergency renewable energy plan to end loadshedding, replace Minister Mantashe, and fix the DMRE.

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Dear President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Office of the Presidency, 

South Africa faces a dual energy and climate crisis, which is deepening our already devastating reality of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Yet, the leadership of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) is holding back the most effective solution to that dual crisis, namely, a rapid and just transition to a renewable energy future, that provides clean, safe and affordable energy for all. 

The people of South Africa cannot afford to have compromised and outdated leadership at the helm of one of our most important departments. Instead of moving us forward into the 21st century, Minister Mantashe’s DMRE is trying to lock South Africa into polluting, expensive, and outdated energy projects like new coal and fossil gas powerships. The result is deepening loadshedding, more pollution, and skyrocketing energy prices.  

Mr President, only you have the power to change the leadership of the DMRE. That is why we, the people of South Africa, are petitioning you to replace Gwede Mantashe and appoint a more youthful and forward-looking Minister, as part of a program to transform the DMRE. Doing so should be part of an emergency renewable energy programme to end loadshedding.

We urge you to do so as part of the demands put forward by people in every province across the country who mobilized last year under the banner of #UprootTheDMRE. 

  1. The leadership and structure of the DMRE must be transformed to fulfill a mandate for an inclusive socially, economically, and ecologically just energy and mining future. Mantashe must step aside to allow new progressive leadership.
  2. A rapid and just transition to a more socially owned, renewable energy powered economy, providing clean, safe, and affordable energy for all, with no worker and community left behind in the transition 
  3. No to new polluting, corrupt and expensive coal, oil, and gas projects. Officials within the department to be investigated around irregular deals. Reject the corrupt, costly and unnecessary powership program. We demand One Million Climate Jobs instead. 
  4. Communities must have the right to say no to mining projects, that includes free, prior informed consent, the upholding of social labour plans, and the right to sustainable alternative modes of development. 
  5. Minister Mantashe and the DMRE must stop blocking and inhibiting Eskom's transition to renewables. We need a Green New Eskom driving a rapid and just transition to a more socially owned, renewable energy future.

Yours sincerely, 

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