Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development

You Cannot Have Jobs on a Dead Planet


This month, South Africa’s youth infotainment show, Politically Aweh, in partnership with Action 24 – Active Citizens for Responsive Legislatures, launched a video series on the climate crisis in Mzansi. With the recent femicides that shook the nation to xenophobic attacks and an unemployment rate of 29%, it’s understandably challenging for young South Africans to even think about climate change. However, as Goldman Environmental prize winner, activist and HBF partner Makoma Lekalakala points out in the first video “You cannot have jobs on a dead planet.”

By Politically Aweh, Action 24

Climate Change

Durban floods: An open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa

Partner Analysis

The massive floods that hit KZN, and Durban in particular, in April 2019 are yet another indicator of how climate change is affecting our resilience. While President Cyril Ramaphosa recently acknowledged this, there has been a strange silence since, and big, carbon-intensive programmes are steaming ahead in the port city. Surely the time for talking is over?

Future proofing Cape Town's food supply


In South Africa, a severe water crisis, fuelled by climate change, laid bare the hyperbole of “a well-run, global best practices, World Design Capital bla bla” Cape Town. Instead of relying on window dressing, Cape Town should learn from cities that are serious about climate change mitigation and adaptation. Nazeer Sonday argues that we have the farmers, and a population concerned about its food. What we lack is political leadership.

By Nazeer A Sonday
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The Sorry Tale of a Coal Mine in Paradise - and the Japanese Hands Behind It

Partner Analysis

The people of the Bushveld around Waterberg used to live peaceful lives in a beautiful area — until Medupi destroyed its ecological and social fabric. The government — with a Japanese firm — plans to build another coal-fired power station in the area, but the community is fighting back.

By Elana Greyling, Earthlife Africa Associate

Climate Change Linked Drought Drives Karoo to Collapse


Southern Africa is heating at 2°C per century, twice the global average. In the Northern Cape, as elsewhere, Climate change is no longer a future event, but a daily reality. Since 2015, a climate change induced drought has wrought devastating economic, social and political consequences: agriculture is collapsing, and both emerging and commercial farmers are abandoning their farms.

By Delime Cupido, Tristen Taylor
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Environmental Justice

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What we do

Faced with on-going development challenges compounded by the imminent threat of a warming and unstable global climate, sustainable development considerations have never been more compelling in Southern Africa.

Responsible decision making requires that we balance social, economic, and environmental objectives, taking due consideration of rights-based approaches to development in order to sustain life and the well-being of our current and future generations. This philosophy underpins the Sustainable Development Programme which encompasses four main themes: climate change, energy, resource governance and green development. The programme seeks to facilitate platforms for civil society, policy makers, decision makers and other stakeholders traditionally left out of the mainstream discourse to ensure that the interconnectedness between humans and nature is understood.

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