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Civil Society Raises Concerns about Climate Change Bill's Effect on Municipalities

Published September 21, 2023
8 months ago

As the climate change bill makes its way through South Africa's legislatures, civil society is increasingly sounding the alarm about its potential impacts on the lower rungs of government. The fears revolve around the heavy responsibility the bill would thrust onto municipalities, however, skeptics argue that it fails to adequately provision the resources they would require for successful implementation thereof.

The bill, currently under review in Parliament, seeks to regulate elements of climate change response, and its proponents say it will encourage environmental sustainability. However, its current draft seems to rely heavily on municipalities to carry out these grand-scale climate strategies with limited resources at their disposal.

Numerous South African municipalities are already struggling with financial constraints, therefore, the fear is that the burden of managing swift and effective climate change response could exacerbate their struggles.

Civil society has called for a careful reconsideration of the bill's provisions, emphasizing the need for a viable strategy that effectively embeds climate change response without overwhelming lower levels of government. The collective outcry is a clear indication of the need for a balanced approach between burden-sharing and resource allocation.

The continuing debate around the bill underscores the importance of achieving balanced climate action that is socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. Thankfully, it is still early in the legislative process, hence there's ample time for amends that satisfy all stakeholders.

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