Why is public opinion unresponsive to renewable energy as a solution to South Africa’s electricity crisis?

25 May  2015, Holiday Inn Express, Rosebank

South Africa’s electricity crisis presents an excellent opportunity for the country to transition to renewable energy and in so doing kill two birds with one stone by addressing the country's energy crisis, whilst reducing our harmful contribution to global warming. But our government continues to invest in dirty coal as well as expensive and unsafe nuclear energy. Worse, the vast majority of South Africans are silent on our country’s addiction to fossil fuels.

Public opinion is vital for pushing government in the right direction. Why has the South African public not seized the opportunity presented by the current electricity crisis to force our government into adopting a more responsible energy programme?

SACSIS and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa Offce invite you to a panel discussion with some of South Africa’s leading energy experts who will discuss why public opinion is important for holding our government to account on the question of renewable energy and a better future for South Africa.


How can the South African public be brought on board to demand sustainable energy solutions from our government?

Who is responsible for educating the South African public about renewable energy, green jobs and climate change?

What can we learn from international case studies about public pressure compelling leaders to adopt renewable energy?


Monday, 25 May  2015

Registration from 14h00 to 14h30
Main programme from 14h30 to 16h30

Holiday Inn Express, Oxford Road, Rosebank.


To book a seat at this event send an email with your name, affiliation and contact details to [email protected] with "RSVP Energy Panel" in the subject line of your email message. Please RSVP by 21 May 2015 and do book early to avoid disappointment.


Tasneem Essop
Tasneem Essop is the Head of Low Carbon Frameworks for the World Wildlife Front (WWF) International’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative. She is also a Commissioner in the National Planning Commission of South Africa. Prior to this she worked in various roles such as a provincial minister, trade unionist and teacher.  

Ferrial Adam
Ferrial Adam is's Africa & Arab World Regional Team Leader. Ferrial has campaigned for environmental justice for the past 13 years and has worked for Groundwork, Earthlife and Greenpeace Africa. She holds an MPhil in Environmental Management from UCT.

Dr. David Fig
Dr. David Fig is a South African environmental sociologist, political economist, and activist. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, and specialises in questions of energy, trade, biodiversity, and corporate responsibility. His  books include Staking their Claims: Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility in South Africa (UKZN Press, 2007) and Uranium Road: Questioning South Africa's Nuclear Direction (Jacana, 2005), which was turned into a 53-minute documentary film in 2007.


Renate Tenbusch
Renate Tenbusch is the resident country director of the Fiedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa Office. She will take the opportunity provided by this panel to talk about citizen's mobilisation in Germany and how public opinion pushed German leaders to adopt one of the most advanced renewabale energy programmes in the world.  

This event is being co-hosted by The South African Civil Society Information Service and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa Office.