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Assisting South Africa on its pathway towards becoming a just society

Just Transition to a Decarbonised Economy for South Africa (JUST SA)


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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2022 to 2027

  • Other Stakeholders

    Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), GreenCape Sector Development Agency (GreenCape), National Business Initiative (NBI), World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF), Youth Employment Service (Yes4Youth), Mpumalanga Green Cluster Agency (MGCA)

  • Products and expertise

    Economic development and employment


South Africa envisions transforming into an environmentally sustainable, climate-change resilient, low-carbon economy and just society by 2030, outlined in its National Development Plan (NPD) 2030.

At the present time, South Africa has one of the most carbon-intensive economies in the world, heavily reliant on fossil fuels across its power, industry, and transportation systems. Coal accounts for 70 per cent of primary energy sources, posing formidable obstacles to transition.

The mining industry, a cornerstone of the nation’s economy significantly impacts environmental health and social progress in mining areas. Both active and closed mines suffer from ineffective closure and rehabilitation processes, hindering potential advancements.

Acid mine drainage is a major concern. Rain, surface and ground water seeping into mines dissolve leftover metals and sulphur, causing the release of acidic water that harms the environment.


South Africa is pursuing pathways towards a fair transition to a greener, climate-resilient, low-carbon economy and just society.


The project supports the implementation of the Just Transition Framework with a number of activities, including:

  • Developing the financial instruments necessary to promote a just transition.
  • Providing support in formulating a concrete and fair green economy transition plan for a diversified regional economy.
  • Setting up and operationalising the JUST Transition SMME Facility.
  • Assisting local municipalities in implementing and scaling up just and green economy projects.
  • Encouraging private industry involvement and removing investment obstacles.

Additionally, the project addresses mine rehabilitation, focusing on mine water treatment through research, policy implementation and community engagement.

Last update: December 2023

Additional information