Just Transition Framework, South Africa: Community and Stakeholder Engagement


OneWorld designed and led a process for Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) and the Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) to facilitate community and stakeholder engagement and participatory analysis to identify and articulate the views of vulnerable communities and affected parties on what would constitute a just transition to a low carbon climate resilient society in South Africa. The PCC is leading a national process of building a consensus between social partners around the challenging and complex decisions required to successfully navigate a just transition process. In so doing PCC has developed a draft national framework to guide the just transition process.

OneWorld was contracted to engage vulnerable and affected communities in eight sites across South Africa to:

(i) solicit the views of these communities and affected parties;

(ii) establish a dialogue with a long-term view of building trust and understanding between the parties; and

(iii) broker a social consensus on the principal elements of and pathways towards a just transition.

The findings from the work undertaken by OneWorld will be used to inform the revision of the draft national framework and establish a long-term programme of engagement in realising a just transition in South Africa.

This work follows a related two-year project during which OneWorld designed and led a process for the National Planning Commission, to update the country’s National Development Plan, and to co-develop, with multiple stakeholders across the four social partners (civil society, government, industry and labour) an ‘end state’ vision of a low carbon, climate resilient society

In designing the workshops for the assignment, OneWorld applied an intersectionality approach, where community and individual voices were brought to the fore regarding their knowledge and experience of their local community, sectors, livelihoods, opportunities, and needs, and ensuring that all voices were heard. Eight geographical engagements with affected communities took place, in a face-to-face stakeholder-led approach with translation facilities available, ensuring the voice of all affected communities were heard, articulated, and correctly captured.

Key Outcomes:

These communities, together with other affected parties, identified several key areas that should inform the formulation of the national just transition framework. These included, but were not limited to, the need for:

  • (i) restorative justice for affected communities;
  • (ii) a truly inclusive process that represents the needs of all vulnerable groups (women, youth, disabled, elderly, etc.);
  • (iii) transparent governance and management of the just transition process;
  • (iv) focused interventions to build trust and cooperative partnerships with affected communities and parties; and
  • (v) clear plans for a comprehensive programme of reskilling, upskilling and education to ensure that youth, in particular, are positioned for employment in a green economy.

These and other learnings will contribute to the revision of the national just transition framework.

Project Data

Client: Presidential Climate Commission (PCC), funded by the African Climate Foundation (ACF)

Project duration: December 2021 – June 2022

Region: South Africa

Just Transition South Africa