Launch of Documentary: Voices from under a dark cloud - towards a just transition in the coal fields of South Africa

  • Date: Tuesday, 21 June 2022
  • Time: 15:00-17.00
  • Venue: Webinar via Zoom
  • Organisation: TIPS , NALEDI, groundWork, Peta Wolpe


South Africa has initiated the transition to a more sustainable development pathway that involves moving towards a low-carbon economy. At the same time, South Africa still faces a number of developmental challenges related to poverty, unemployment and inequality, and the climate crisis further threatens vulnerable communities and people. The need for a just transition to a low-carbon economy has emerged as an imperative to ensure the poor and vulnerable are not negatively impacted by the transition and are ideally better off through it.

In Mpumalanga, these challenges are exacerbated by the high reliance on coal-based economic activities, service delivery challenges, and environmental impacts from land, air and water pollution. These challenges have resulted in poor health, death and destruction to people, the communities and the environment. Encouragingly, in the transition process, many solutions are beginning to emerge that can help regions like Mpumalanga pivot towards more sustainable industries.

TIPS, the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI), groundWork and Peta Wolpe are engaged as a consortium in a project which aims to facilitate and co-develop a coherent just transition plan for affected communities in Emalahleni and Steve Tshwete in Mpumalanga. In 2021, the consortium produced a documentary to highlight and capture some of the issues, opportunities and challenges that the affected communities in Mpumalanga face as coal is phased out and we enter a new era. The documentary, entitled Voices from under a dark cloud – towards a just transition in the coalfields of South Africa, builds on a series of webinars and local engagements held over the last 18 months to provide a platform for affected communities to have their voices heard.


About the speakers

Joëlle Chesselet has directed, co-directed and produced award-winning documentaries over the past three decades, notably Pluck – a film not just about the chicken, Ochre and Water - Himba chronicles from the Land of Kaoko and This crazy thing called grace: Desmond Tutu and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In collaboration with Lloyd Ross, she directed music videos for the SHIFTY record label as well as working on music documentaries, including the award winning The Silver Fez.

André de Ruyter is  the Eskom Holdings Group Chief Executive (GCE). Being a seasoned executive, with a career spanning over 30 years, André has amassed a wealth of experience both locally and internationally in various portfolios in the energy space as well as in other disciplines, including but not limited to: strategic leadership, sales, manufacturing, production, finance, legal and regulation, people management and socio-economic development. He was a member of the Sasol group executive committee from 2009 to 2014, and spent some time in China as President of China Ventures, also leading business turnaround and transformation in Germany. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Nampak in 2014, a position he left when he accepted the Group Chief Executive role at Eskom. André holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands, a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of South Africa (UNISA) as well as a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pretoria.

Duduzile (Dudu) Sibiya is the Provincial Climate Change Coordinator at Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs. She is responsible for coordinating and spearheading climate change and just transition Initiatives and interventions. She promotes their mainstreaming and alignment across all plans. She facilitates capacity building to local municipalities to assist them in their climate change and just transition roles.

Matthews Hlabane is the Co-ordinator of the Southern Africa Green Revolutionary Council (SAGRC) in eMalahlen; he worked for MACUA Mining Affected Communities United in Action; and is the national organiser of the right to say no and Cry of Xcluded, SAMMAC, which is a loose network of mining affected communities. He focuses on environmental justice struggles and this has led him to establish links with a range of communities affected by mining.

Nonkululeko Makua is the Manager for Parks, Cemeteries and Public Open Spaces, in the Environmental and Waste Management Directorate of the municipalities. She is the former Climate Change Champion of the eMalahleni Municipality.

Tlangelani Rita Ndlhovu is a researcher at the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and focuses on climate change and just transition debates. Prior to joining the NUM, she worked for the Mineworkers Investment Trust (MIT) focusing on financial literacy. Prior to that she was involved in capacity building of young researchers in her role at the Department of Science and Technology. She is involved in a number of structures linked to Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), tripartite and educational institutions. She has a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Gender studies.

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.

For any queiries or further information please contact Rozale Sewduth -

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