Section 24 of the Constitution says that everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.
Despite this, the EFF only has 18 points on environmental policies in its 170-page long manifesto. Similarly, the current ANC government’s manifesto makes fewer than 20 eco-friendly promises, including repositioning Eskom (again) and an investigation into the cost-benefit of installing solar panels in state buildings. 3
In comparison to the ANC and EFF, the DA has a far longer list of green policies and ideas included in its manifesto, although much of this includes examples of their successful implementation of green policies.
And while South Africans will have seen The Green Party of South Africa listed on ballots in the past, the party has struggled to garner any national support. Other than The Green Party, the United Democratic Front (UDM) has perhaps the most comprehensive policy on environmental affairs.
Although US President Donald Trump has repeatedly tweeted about “clean coal”, environmentally-friendly mining is a myth. Despite this, the majority of political parties have committed to improving or expanding the current mining industry. 5
In South Africa in particular, mining has a long and controversial history.