As part of the Uproot the DMRE movement, Cape Town climate change activists and civil society organisations came together to march to Parliament on 24 September 2021.
Uproot the DMRE (The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy) is a collaborative online movement by multiple environmental organisations around the continent. Their mission is mobilising for a just energy and mining future.
The demonstration held on Heritage Day was part of the global climate strike held in various cities across the world.
The reason for the protest was to address government’s alleged lack of action on the climate crisis. The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) continues to block the country’s transition to renewable energy by pursuing oil and gas projects.
An example of this is two weeks ago, the DMRE awarded Karpowership with authorisation for floating powerships on South African shores despite the ongoing legal battle and environmental concerns around the deal.
The DMRE’s reason for continuing to use fossil fuel energy is because it helps create jobs in a country with high unemployment.
Gabriel Klaasen, African Climate Alliance member, was not convinced that oil and gas energy projects will provide jobs for the country.
“The DMRE is continually investing in the idea that coal is the future. They say that with coal comes jobs. What we actually see is destruction and an unstable economy – and there’s still no jobs. Unemployment is 40% plus, while youth unemployment is 74.74%,” he said.
The demonstration concluded with a memorandum of demands being delivered to members of parliament. They demanded an end to all new procurement of coal and an improved commitment to cut emissions in South Africa.