Just Transition – is it a pipe dream in light of slow economic growth?

What is the role of Parliament, how best can Parliament ensure that a just transition is indeed just and equitable?

As part of the Knowledge Management Strategy of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, the Parliamentary Research Unit will host a Webinar titled Is just transition a pipe dream in light of slow economic growth? The objective of the webinar is to, among others, reflect on Just Transition as it pertains to water, land, agriculture, energy, governance, economic development and its impact on society. It will also explore mechanisms at Parliament’s disposal to conduct oversight of a Just Transition to a low carbon economy. To enrich the discussions, the webinar will address the following questions:

  • Why should South Africa transition to a low carbon economy?
  • Is South Africa ready for a Just Transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and sustainable society?
  • Is Just transition equivalent to energy transition?
  • Are the Just Transition policy interventions or climate change response measures adequate? E.g. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), vehicles emissions tax, plastic bag tax, etc. Is Carbon Tax the answer?
  • What is the likely impact of the Just Transition on job creation, energy, water and food security?
  • Is poor governance and corruption a threat to a Just Transition and why?
  • What is the impact of COVID 19 on Just Transition?
  • What are the unintended consequences of the Just Transition?
  • Does the existing Oversight and Accountability Model of Parliament enable oversight of a Just Transition?
  • How best can Parliament conduct oversight of the Just Transition?


Dr Stanley Semelane

Senior Researcher, Climate Services at CSIR responsible for supporting climate change finance, as well as the mitigation and adaptation measures in the South African just transition. Dr Semelane has a PhD in Energy Studies, MSc in Engineering and a BCom in Economics. He worked at the Central Energy Fund, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa and the Eastern Cape Provincial Government, managing renewable energy initiatives. He also played a major role in the first South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REI4P) SMME Support Programme. He is a thought leader in the just energy transition domain, and an advocate for socio-economic inclusion of all South Africans in the energy transition associated benefits.

Professor Mthunzi Perry-Mason Mdwaba

Prof. Mdwaba is a serial entrepreneur, President & CEO of TZoro IBC, a Global Strategic Advisory & Consultancy firm, SADC Tripartite and AU endorsed African candidate for the ILO DG role in 2022. Potentially the first African in 101 years since 1919, if successful; IOE Vice-President of the ILO & ILO Vice-Chairperson (Geneva, Switzerland); Productivity SA Chairperson; Chairperson of the Human Rights & Responsible Business Conduct Policy Working Group of the IOE; South African Norwegian Association (SANA) Chairperson & Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at the University of the Western Cape (“UWC”). B20 Italy Co-Chairperson of the Employment & Education Task Force. He was an ex-officio member of the ILO Global Commission to the FoW that contributed to the ILO Centenary Declaration and led the Employers Group in the same Commission.

Professor Thuli Madonsela

Prof. Madonsela is an advocate and Professor of law, and a chair in social justice at Stellenbosch University since January 2018. She served as the Public Protector
of South Africa from 19 October 2009 to 14 October 2016. Prof. Madonsela conducts and coordinates social justice research and teaches constitutional and administrative law. She is also the founder of the Thuma Foundation, an independent democracy leadership and literacy social enterprise. An advocate of the High Court of South Africa, Prof. Madonsela has been a lifelong activist for social justice, constitutionalism, human rights, good governance and the rule of law. Named one of TIME100’s most influential people in the world in 2014 and Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2016, she was also one of the drafters of South Africa’s Constitution and co-architect of several laws that have sought to anchor South Africa’s democracy.

Ms Katlego Ncongwane

Ms Ncongwane is a lead scientist in health application research at the South African Weather Service. Her scientific focus includes research on environmental exposures and vector-borne diseases related to human health, as well as the associated effects of weather and climate on human health systems. Ms Ncongwane has vast experience in managing observation networks responsible for the collection and transmission of meteorological information. Ms Ncongwane is a PhD candidate at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. She holds two master’s degrees, an MSc in Physics from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and an MPhil in Sustainable Development Planning and Management from the University of Stellenbosch.


  • Ms Nontobeko Qwabe – Researcher, Agriculture
  • Mr Nhlanhla Ginindza – Researcher, Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Ms Thembisa Siyo-Pepeteka – Researcher, Rural Development and Land Reform
  • Dr Gabriel Lekalakala – Researcher, Land and Mineral Resources






Ms C.April


Opening and Welcome

Mr T. Manungufala and Dr G. Wesso


Locating the Parliamentary Seminar Series within t he Knowledge
Management Strategy of Parliament

Dr L. Gabriel (Knowledge and Information Services Division)


Dimensions of Just Transition with a
focus on energy just transition

Dr Stanley Semelane


The Impact of air quality on public health through the lens of SAWS’ air quality monitoring programme

Ms Katlego Ncongwane



Thomani & Panellists


Just Transition and the Future of Work

Professor Mthunzi Perry-Mason Mdwaba


Implications of a Just Transition for
Social Justice

Professor Thuli Madonsela


How Parliament’s Oversight and Accountability Model and
I mplementation Plan can facilitate
ov ersight of South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable economy and society

M s R. Begg (Core Business Support Division)



All (facilitated by Mr Manungufala)


Wrap up and closing remarks

Ester Saptoe