A conference on Renewable Energy was organized by the WFTU-affiliate NUMSA in Johannesburg, South Africa on 4-8 February 2012 under the title: “Renewable Energy: Stop Another Capitalist Grab!”. The President of the South African Metalworkers, comrade Cedric Gina addressed the Conference on the subject:
” As a revolutionary union, we have a vested interest in the character of the renewable sector that is built in South Africa. The building of a renewable energy sector raises questions about;
• who benefits from the emergence of a renewable energy sector? Do communities stand to benefit or is this another capitalist grab to enrich a few?
• for whom is the renewable energy being produced? Is it for big corporations who get the electricity at a discount or is it to give access to those who presently do not have access?
• what is the primary goal of developing renewable energy sector? Is it to supply electricity to the grid or is it to bring electricity to those off the grid?
• where will South Africa and other developing countries fit in the emerging division of labour within the global renewable sector? Will developing countries and the South continue to be recipients of products developed in the North or can we turn things around and level the global playing field?
• how do fossil-fuel dependent countries make the transition to low-carbon economies without hurting their economies?
• should renewable energy be a commodity for profitable sale in the world-market or should it serve as a non-commercial means of subsistence?
• will workers devote their skills to expanding the renewable energy sector on the terms of the world market and global patent regimes or will they instead dedicate their services to ensure that the renewable energy sector remains in the common domain?”
Read more in the attached file