Coal mining and burning are a major driver of environmental inequality in South Africa. Such
inequality is evident in the poor’s exposure to toxic pollution, in the lack of universal access to
critical resources such as clean water and air, the land, clean, affordable energy, and their
vulnerability to the extreme weather events, such as droughts, heat waves, crop failures and
floods, associated with climate change. To mitigate the later, South Africa is undergoing a
transition from coal to renewable energy. This project, therefore, aims to investigate the
implications of a just transition from coal for workers and people living near coal mines and
coal-fired power-stations, many of whom have experienced the dispossession of their land,
graves and livelihoods amongst other things because of coal mining. Of central concern is that
coal workers and those living in mining-affected communities- have contributed the most to the
development of south Africa’s mining economy, yet have benefitted the least, and are currently
excluded from debates about the modalities of a just transition from coal mining and burning.
To challenge this status quo, research, as well as exchange workshops have been undertaken in
the Mpumalanga Highveld, and in Somkhele, KwaZulu-Natal province- to help build grass-root
resistance against extractivism.