12.03.2021

Media Briefing & launch of open letter to Ministers regarding the proposed MMSEZ: The Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone

"We submit that any new minerals development and beneficiation projects or infrastructure investment should not be premised on expanding coal value chains, either nationally or internationally, nor in any way increase South Africa’s dependence on or combustion of coal; rather it should be aligned with long-term sustainability and a just transition to a zero-carbon economy.”

The Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone 

Earthlife Africa (ELA) recently initiated a sign-on letter to Ministers Creecy and Patel (DFFE & dtic), calling for national-level oversight and an integrated assessment of the over-all value proposition of the coal-based and mega-project approach to development being championed by the Limpopo Provincial Government; first sent to Ministries on 1 March and now going public.

The African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (ACCEDE, based at UWC) have been researching the dynamics of several SEZs, both in the field and within the broader development discourse, including the linkages of the MMSEZ to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and will release a short public information video on the basics of Special Economic Zones.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), which supports the participatory research project of ACCEDE, will show a short video sketching the challenges involved in a major increase in water demand in the Northern Limpopo River catchment. Formal presentations will be followed by interaction with media; from 11h00 the meeting will shift to civil society networking and planning without media.

Date: 17 March 2021
Time: 10:00
Platform: Zoom

Programme: Facilitator: Richard Worthington (FES)

10h02: Welcome and scene-setting: Makoma Lekalakala (ELA)
             Prof Lisa Thompson (ACCEDE) project and materials overview with intro of  SEZs video 
             Reading of the Open Letter to Ministers and Update on EIA process (ELA)
             Comments or questions from participating organisations (brief) 
             Media Q & A – interaction and potential break-aways

10h45: Video (7 min) Animated aerial perspective on water supply challenges
    (Zoom chat stays open for parallel interactions or arranging follow-ups)

11h00: Civil society informal networking and planning meeting

 Media RSVP: Kulani.Mashele(at)fes-southafrica.org

Contacts for media:
Ms Makoma Lekalakala – Director - Earthlife Africa 
E-mail: makoma(at)earthlife.org.za Cellphone: 082 682 9177

Prof Lisa Thompson (ACCEDE)
E-mail:  lthompson(at)uwc.ac.za  Cellphone: 084 676 3261

Extract from open letter:We submit that any new minerals development and beneficiation projects or infrastructure investment should not be premised on expanding coal value chains, either nationally or internationally, nor in any way increase South Africa’s dependence on or combustion of coal; rather it should be aligned with long-term sustainability and a just transition to a zero-carbon economy.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung 
South Africa Office

34 Bompas Road
Dunkeld West
Johannesburg

+27 11 341 0270
+27 11 341 0271

info(at)fes-southafrica.org

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