SA banks and climate risk: latest developments

At Standard Bank’s AGM on 30 May, shareholders compelled the bank to adopt and disclose a policy on lending to coal-fired power projects and coal mining operations. This was the first time that a South African bank – or listed SA company – faced a shareholder resolution on a climate-related issue. On 31 July, Standard Bank announced the release of its Coal-Fired Power Finance Policy.

Environmental groups take government to High Court over violation of Constitutional right to clean air

Groups claim pollution from coal-fired power plants in the Highveld Priority Area violates right to a healthy environment under the Constitution

Mpumalanga, South Africa—On Friday, 7 June 2019, environmental justice group groundWork [1] and Mpumalanga community organisation Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action (Vukani) [2] launched landmark litigation demanding that government clean up the air in the Mpumalanga Highveld.

Molteno’s mobile libraries promote a love of reading among children

As we mark Youth Month in June, there is greater reflection on the numerous challenges affecting our young people and children. One major issue they confront is a high illiteracy rate.  South Africa was placed last out of 50 countries in the most recent Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) in 2016. The study found that 8 out of 10 Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning in any language. Reading is the basis for all other learning, so if children can’t read, they will struggle throughout their schooling and be much less likely to achieve academic and career success.

Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre provides quality and affordable healthcare services

According to the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), residents of informal settlements are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Latent Tuberculosis, or TB, affects 88% of 30 to 39-year-old individuals living in these areas. Quality and efficient healthcare is a luxury that most South Africans living in townships cannot afford. Non-profit organisation Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre, situated in Fourways, Johannesburg, aims to do their part to change this.

Asina Loyiko: Activists unite against corporate censorship and bullying

Today, civil society organisations officially launched a new joint advocacy campaign in Cape Town known as Asina Loyiko: United Against Corporate Bullying.

The campaign comes in response to the growing number of corporations, both in South Africa and globally, who use a tactic termed “SLAPP suits” – Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation - to silence criticism and suppress public activism. These SLAPPs undermine Constitutional rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the media, and academic freedom.

Make no mistake, the ANC is in deep trouble

While the ANC was happy with the election victory, it surely could not be beside itself with joy. The 2019 national election results were the worst in the party's electoral history.  They reached the lowest level of support ever at 57.51% nationally; Its loss of support of 4,64 percentage points between 2014 and 2019 is the worst it has ever suffered; and lost 18,21 percentage points in Gauteng in the same period. 

5 controversial ANC members who are heading to Parliament

The list of canditates to be sworn into parliament include five (5) ANC members who are implicated in corruption scandals.  The following five are The Minister of Environmental Affairs – Nomvula Mokonyane; The Minister of Women in the Presidency – Bathabile Dlamini; Former Home Affairs Minister – Malusi Gigaba; Former Minister of Communications – Faith Muthambi; and Former Minister of Mineral Resources – Mosebenzi Zwane.

A journey continued: How Reach for Recovery and Dr Justus Apffelstaedt are supporting breast cancer patients

The former Head of the Tygerberg Breast Clinic, Doctor Justus Apffelstaedt is continuing his collaboration with one of South Africa’s oldest, national, non-profit breast cancer support groups, Reach for Recovery, to raise awareness and funds for their Ditto Project. The collaboration in 2018 achieved media coverage valued at R1.7 million and helped raise R4,351.

CER calls for a new Climate Change portfolio in the Presidency

The Centre for Environmental Rights has written to President Ramaphosa about his upcoming cabinet selection, asking him to give priority to the urgent need to improve environmental governance in South Africa by appointing Ministers and Deputy Ministers who are strong, forward thinking leaders, committed to reforming environmental and water governance, and addressing the global threat of climate change.


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