Skip to Content

Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

Support Us Join our Mailing List



New research by CER partner groundWork shows how coal power is turning Mpumalanga Highveld into wasteland

21 November 2017 at 3:00 pm

At the launch of a new groundWork report entitled Destruction of the Highveld: Part 2 – Burning Coal in eMalahleni, “the place of coal”, yesterday, community members* confirmed the study’s findings that Eskom’s coal addiction is causing serious health problems and killing people in the Highveld. They also called for a community and worker-led process to drive a just transition, and end the way in which coal power is turning the Mpumalanga Highveld into a wasteland.

Furthermore, the report finds that people are already experiencing the severe effects of climate change and that a just transition requires the following:

  • A new energy system based on socially owned renewables;
  • New jobs in renewables;
  • Large scale restoration and detoxification of land and ecosystems injured by the fossil fuel economy on the Highveld;
  • A new and healthier food economy;
  • Properly built, energy efficient housing;
  • A new and healthier transport economy;
  • The reorientation and expansion of municipal services; and
  • A basic income grant for all.

Download the new report here together with groundWork’s 2016 report Destruction of the Highveld: Part 1 – Digging Coal. Read more about the 2016 report here.

* Community organisations represented at the event included the Highveld Environmental Justice Network and Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action.


For media queries, please contact:

  • groundWork:  Bobby Peek on 082 464 1383, or David Hallows on 083 262 4922
  • Highveld Environmental Justice Network:  Nomcebo Makhubelo on 072 120 1626
  • Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action:  Promise Mabilo on 079 748 9115

Together with Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and the CER, goundWork is a member of the Life After Coal/Impilo Ngaphandle Kwamalahle campaign. We discourage investment in new coal-fired power stations and mines; accelerate the retirement of South Africa’s coal infrastructure; and enable a just transition to renewable energy systems for the people.

Life After Coal Campaign contacts: