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Coal and Energy in South Africa

Considering a Just Transition

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Lochner Marais

15 November 2021

Lochner Marais, Stuart Paul Denoon-Stevens, Deidré van Rooyen, Maléne Campbell, Phillippe Burger


Lochner Marais


Centre for Development Support


Coal and Energy in South Africa: Considering a Just Transition investigates the consequences of shifting social responsibilities, new inequalities and the sustainability concerns created by the likely energy transition in Africa to end the fossil-fuel era. Focusing on the local realities in a growing coal and energy town of South Africa, Emalahleni, it explores whether a just transition from coal-generated energy is possible and what the local implications will be of this global restructuring of the energy sector.


The book starts out with four chapters laying out the conceptual framework followed by fourteen chapters describing the local consequences of mining for a medium-sized South African town. The book offers analysis of the current situation in the mining industry, discussing the inequalities it creates, its role in environmental sustainability and health, and the implication of mining practices for business and local government. The authors of the chapters discuss the possible consequences of mine closures and how to ensure a just energy transition and, finally, the authors address the question of why the mining industry, government and unions promote open mining towns.


Abstract based on source. 


Website References



Human settlements

Local government

Mine closures

Mining Towns

Mining Towns Collection

South Africa


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