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Resistance to coal inequalities and the possibilities of a just transition in South Africa

Jacklyn Cock

Development Southern Africa, 2019, vol. 36, issue 6, 860-873

Abstract: Coal mining and burning are among the most destructive activities on the planet, and a major driver of environmental inequality in South Africa. This article suggests that, despite heavy constraints, initiatives involving resistance to coal are building a ‘counter-power’ which challenges inequality, generates solidarity, and is potentially infused by imaginative visions of another world beyond coal. Following the ‘social power’ approach this vision could, with deeper connections between three sites of resistance to coal – organised labour, mining affected communities and environmental justice organisations – cohere into a vision of a ‘just transition’. This could embed the anti-coal struggle in a social movement for an alternative development path to challenge deepening poverty and inequality.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2019.1660859

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