South Africa has initiated a transition to a more sustainable development pathway, which involves moving towards a low-carbon economy. The country is a highly unequal society with many poor and vulnerable people. The need for a just transition has emerged as an imperative, whereby the poor and vulnerable should not be negatively impacted by the transition and should ideally be better off through it. In Mpumalanga, these challenges are exacerbated by the health, air and water pollution that has caused untold death and destruction to people and the environment.
Yet the voice of the people living in affected communities is often not heard, particularly at the national level. This Development Dialogue webinar aims to provide a platform to hear from and engage with people from Steve Tshwete and Emalahleni. It aims to unpack key concerns, aspirations, visions and needs for people in Mpumalanga, focusing on what is required to shift the status quo and make a positive change in the region in terms of employment, poverty, energy, health, and the environment. It forms part of a larger project, funded by UK PACT, that intends to facilitate the co-development of a coherent just transition plan for affected communities in Mpumalanga, with a particular focus on Emalahleni and Steve Tshwete.