Time for the South African Government to Declare a Climate Emergency

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1819 ... May 6, 2019
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Time for the South African Government to Declare a Climate Emergency

Co-operative and Policy Alternative Center and South African Food Sovereignty Campaign

On the 22nd of April, regions of Kwa Zulu Natal experienced heavy rainfall resulting in devastating flooding, washing away houses and claiming close to 80 lives. Currently, residents are living with relatives or in shelters where there are limited resources and not enough beds. Not too far away, in the aftermath of cyclone Idai, while residents of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi are still trying to rebuild, another cyclone has hit Northern Mozambique and Southern Tanzania, cyclone Kenneth. This second cyclone comes just weeks after cyclone Idai devastated the region, killing over 1000 people and displacing about 3 million.

"We convey our condolences... to those who have lost loved ones, and solidarity to those still suffering. These are not isolated events; they are climate shocks which are a result of climate change," said Vishwas Satgar, Co-operative and Policy Alternative Center (COPAC) Board Chairperson.

Together with the recent flooding, South Africa has been experiencing a devastating drought that is a direct impact of climate change. The poor and most vulnerable have been the hardest hit. Climate change is not just an environmental issue as it creates conditions for inequality to increase, and for social injustice to worsen. Increasing food prices and water costs have been a direct consequence affecting working class and poor communities. Since 2015 we have been highlighting these issues through the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign (SAFSC), which COPAC co-founded.

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