Climate activists interrupted Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa’s public lecture on energy sovereignty at the University of Pretoria on Friday, calling for him to reduce his salary and give the rest to residents in Vereeniging.
“Ihave news for you, Mr Ramokagopa, there is no transition happening,” Extinction Rebellion climate activist Malik Dasoo said, as he interrupted the Minister of Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, from delivering a public lecture energy at the University of Pretoria on Friday morning.
Dasoo was referring to the Just Energy Transition, which aims to accelerate South Africa’s move away from coal in a way that protects vulnerable workers and communities.
“And the PCC who was brought in to do it, after three years has done nothing. It’s a talk shop and a money pit,” Dasoo said, referring to the Presidential Climate Commission, a multi-stakeholder body established by President Cyril Ramaphosa to “oversee and facilitate a just and equitable transition towards a low-emissions and climate-resilient economy”.
The public lecture – titled Energy Sovereignty in the Context of the Sustainable and Just Energy Transition – was organised by the UN Development Programme, in partnership with the PCC, the University of Johannesburg and the University of Pretoria, under the banner of the Just Energy Transition Platform.
Dasoo and several other Extinction Rebellion climate activists interrupted the lecture and stood in front of the podium, and then sat down when the Minister stood one side. They were eventually carried out of the lecture theatre by security.