SUMMARY: The paper reconceptualises the relationship between development and sustainability. The paper endeavours to fuse the core conceptual concerns of the developmental state and sustainability transition literatures. The difference between South Africa’s dual developmental and environmental trajectories and the East Asian experience is presented.
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The paper adopts a pessimistic outlook on a Just Transition in South Africa, arguing that South Africa is an institutionally weak state that has not broken the power of the Minerals Energy Complex within the socio-political regime, not promoted employment-creating industrialisation and has facilitated accelerated financialisation. At the same time a myriad of environmental and resource challenges have emerged, without an adequate paradigmatic framework to ensure full understanding of what is going on within the socio-political regime.