In November of the previous year, President Ramaphosa of South Africa unveiled the country’s 5-year Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET-IP). As part of the process, the President requested the Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) to consult with stakeholders and provide feedback on the plan, as well as critically appraise it and offer their own recommendations.
After conducting consultations with various stakeholders, including youth, business, civil society, local government, organized labor, and the faith community, the PCC concluded the process with a national multi-stakeholder colloquium. Taking into account the perspectives and recommendations of these stakeholders, the PCC submitted its final recommendations to President Ramaphosa.
Shamini Harrington, PCC Commissioner and Chair of the Finance Working Group, highlighted the significant scrutiny on the justice and just transition aspects of the PCC’s recommendations. Stakeholders expressed concerns regarding energy affordability, access, and security, incentives, decarbonization pace, the role of the state, private investment, grants, skills development, employment, corruption, theft, and vandalism.
The PCC emphasized the need for a “transition-capable” developmental state, capacity building at the local government level, and governance and oversight mechanisms for transition funding and climate finance. They also called for the development of an adaptation and resilience investment plan, focusing on water and food security, agriculture, and tourism.
Dr. Crispian Olver, Executive Director of the PCC, echoed stakeholder views on the country’s debt scale, the importance of grant and concessional finance increases, sustainable social ownership in renewable energy, and coordinated industrial and financing policies.
The commission acknowledged stakeholder concerns and committed to holding all partners accountable during the implementation process. They also expressed support for the government’s commitment to align the future energy mix with the Just Transition Framework and sustain investments outlined in the JET-IP.
The PCC plans to address further work on issues such as quantifying just transition funding, integrating it with the National Treasury budget process, and developing government-led industrial policies for emerging areas like green hydrogen and electric vehicles.
The Presidential Climate Commission welcomes the government’s reaffirmation and confirms their support for the implementation of the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan while addressing the legitimate concerns raised in the reports submitted to the President.