TIPS Webinar - Unravelling South Africa's Just Transition: Unpacking the ground-level impacts in the coal value chain

  • Date: Tuesday, 03 November 2020
  • Venue: Webinar

Presentations and reports

Muhammed Patel - TIPS

Presentation: National Employment Vulnerability National Employment VulnerabilityAssessment (NEVA) and Sector Jobs Resilient Plans (SJRP): Coal value chain

Report: Sector Jobs Resilience Plan: Coal value chain

Pulane Mafoea Nkalai - Sam Tambani Research Institute

Presentation: Energy Mix choices and the protection of workers’ interests in South Africa

Michelle Cruywagen, Megan Davies and Mark Swilling - Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, Stellenbosch University 

Presentation: Estimating the cost of a just transition in South Africa’s coal sector: Protecting workers, stimulating regional developmentand accelerating a low carbon transition

Report: Estimating the cost of a just transition in South Africa’s coal sector: Protecting workers, stimulating regional developmentand accelerating a low carbon transition

David Hallowes - groundWork

Presentation: Down to Zero

Report: Down to Zero - The politics of just transition (David Hallowes and Victor Munnik 2019)


Gemma Gatticchi, Bloomberg. 4 November 2020: Renewable energy drive threatens 120,000 South African jobs  

About the Speakers
Muhammed Patel is an Economist at TIPS. He has experience in the coal and petrochemical value chains. He is the lead author of the National Employment Vulnerability Assessment (NEVA) and Sector Jobs Resilience Plan (SJRP) for the coal value chain in South Africa.

Pulane Mafoea Nkalai is a Senior Researcher at the Sam Tambani Research Institute (SATRI), the research arm of the National Union of Mine Workers (NUM). She has conducted extensive research on the welfare of workers and workers communities especially in the mining, energy and construction sectors of Southern Africa. Pulane will present on Energy mix choices and the protection of workers’ interests in South Africa.
Michelle Cruywagen is a Senior Technical Advisor for the Skills Development for a Green Economy Programme at the German Development Agency (GIZ) in South Africa. She has done in-depth work on costing South Africa’s coal transition. Michelle will present on Estimating the cost of mitigating coal labour losses in South Africa’s energy transition.
David Hallowes is a Researcher at groundWork, an environmental justice organisation. He has done research and facilitation with civil society organisations across a range of sectors, including environment, education, career information, labour, land and rural development and organisation development. David will present on The politics of the just transition in South Africa.

About the Facilitator
Gaylor Montmasson-Clair is a Senior Economist at TIPS, where he leads work on Sustainable Growth. He has carried out extensive research on the transition to an inclusive green economy from a developing country perspective, with a focus on policy frameworks, industrial development, just transition and resource security.


South Africa, a carbon-intensive economy, has initiated a transition to a more sustainable development pathway. While this is an economy-wide transformation, the progressive decline of the coal value chain is at the centre of this shift. In a highly unequal society like South Africa, the need for a just transition, which would empower vulnerable stakeholders, has emerged as an imperative. Beyond the stakeholders who rely on it for their livelihood, the coal value chain plays a singular role in the South African economy, society, politics and psyche. As such, the transition in South Africa’s coal value chain has the potential to influence the country’s entire socio-economic trajectory. This dialogue aims to inform this just transition process. It explores the ground-level impacts associated with a just transition away from coal.

This webinar builds on a two earlier dialogues, hosted on 7 July and 29 September.