By Environmental Researcher Dr Neil Overy and Ulrich Steenkamp Programs Officer Earthlife Africa

 Will the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET-IP), unveiled by President Cyril Ramaphosa in November 2022, be enough to accelerate an equitable and just transition in SA? Will it move the country closer to achieving its climate commitments while also taking the present energy crisis into account? And will our country, in its present state of chaos, be able to secure the funding required to bring the plan to life? SA ranks low (44th out of 59 countries) on the latest Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), released in November 2022. And in 2021 the World Economic Forum ranked SA 110 out of 115 countries in terms of their preparedness for a just energy transition. 

The JET-IP emerged after talks between SA and the so-called International Partners Group (IPG) — comprising France, Germany, the UK, the US and the EU — and it estimates the first phase of SA’s just energy transition plan, between now and 2027, will cost R1.5-trillion. While R150bn (10%) has been secured in funding from the IPG, 96% of that is in the form of loans and guarantees. That places the financial risk of investing in the just energy transition on ordinary South Africans. And where will the remaining 90% come from? More debt, presumably.


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