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Category: News


From the Accomplishments of COP27 to the Key Areas of Focus for COP28

The 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) transpired in Egypt in 2022. Billed the African or implementation COP, it took place amid urgent concerns about the increasing rather than decreasing global warming despite commitments by all parties to cut emissions. COPs monitor how countries individually and collectively manage the shift from high-carbon to low-carbon economies. All countries have committed to combat climate change as equal partners, despite some being far more polluted than others. It is, however, clear that the nations do not have the same financial, technological, institutional, systematic and human resources capabilities to make that shift. Several challenges require fixing to ensure that commitments transform into practical steps necessary to cut carbon emissions. Most (if not all) African countries cannot fulfill their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), despite their commitment.1 There is consensus at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that least-developed countries need financial and technological assistance from developed countries to become active participants in the fight against climate change. For the past decade, developed countries have not fulfilled their promise. The UN has asked developed countries to contribute the most towards cutting emissions on their home ground “as they are the largest contributors of past and current greenhouse gas emissions.”

On the contrary, it has become apparent that developed countries are not ready to make the necessary shift, partly due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Instead, developed countries have increased their investment in fossil fuels at home and abroad. Meanwhile, African countries are demanding preferential treatment, especially in the use of fossil fuels, to ensure that the development impulse of recent decades is not interrupted. The global fight against climate change suffers from a lack of implementation. Countries make promises and set goals but fail to allocate sufficient financial resources to ensure the attainment of goals. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that “many changes in the climate system, including extreme events, will become excessive in the near term with the increasing global warming. Multiple climatic and non-climatic risks will interact, resulting in increased compounding and cascading impacts becoming more difficult to manage. Losses and damages will increase with increasing global warming, while excessively concentrated amongst the poorest vulnerable populations (high confidence). Continuing with current unsustainable development patterns will increase exposure and vulnerability of ecosystems and people to climate hazards (high confidence).”2 This paper analyses the general outcomes of COP27, and specifically, how it advanced Africa’s interests and those of poor African communities. It then discusses how Africa should prepare itself for COP28.

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Communications and Research Associate

Opportunity type: Employment
Contract type: Fixed term employment of 1 year

The Southern Africa Trust was established in 2005, to support civil society organisations in
Southern Africa to participate effectively and with credibility in policy dialogue so that the
voices of the poor can have better impact in the development of public policies. Our mandate
is to work on a non-profit basis, to engage in activities that contribute to the reduction of
poverty & inequality. In delivering this mandate, we strive to strengthen the voices of poor
people in public policy processes. Africans deserve an economy that allows each person to lead
a dignified and meaningful life. We believe inclusive economies are critical for reducing poverty
and inequality and unlocking the potential of regional integration to generate jobs, drive
innovation, protect the environment and generate economic opportunities for all. The Trust in
2022 to 2024 plans to purposeful engage with gender justice for women’s empowerment
focusing on mainstreaming gender across the organisation and its programme.

The Southern Africa Trust seeks to recruit a Communications and Research Associate

The main purpose of this role will be to provide Communications and Research support to the
Southern Africa Trust (SAT) by working closely with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to
ensure that the appropriate SAT Communications Strategy is implemented with the goal of
increasing the Trust’s presence and influence within and outside of South Africa, the SADC
region and beyond.

This role will support the CEO in creating content and ensuring that the Trust Strategic
messages on all relevant platforms, including but not limited to relevant social media
platforms and the Trust website promote and protect the Trust’s vision, mission, and goals.

A further function of the role is to provide research on trends and developments in the sector
in the SADC region, continentally and globally to keep abreast of events that will be beneficial
in influencing delivery of our strategy and increasing the Trust’s visibility in the region and

Key Responsibilities (Refer to the Job description for full information):

o The role will broadly be responsible for three areas:
a) Communications support by working closely with the CEO to implement the
Communications strategy through various communications related functions
including content creation.
b) Research function by supporting monitoring research and development trends.
c) Executive Administration by supporting the CEO office with planning and
administration of events and by supporting with other relevant administration
processes required by the team.

Competency profile:

The candidate should hold a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with 3-5 years relevant
experience in in conducting research and analysis, experience in copywriting content for
social media and relevant platforms. In addition, the candidate should have experience in
administration and event coordination, knowledge of applicable national legislation and
policies, communications technical knowledge and an understanding of social media trends.
Fluent proficiency in English is essential. Prior sector experience will be advantageous.

Please forward your curriculum vitae and covering letter explaining of your interest in the
work of the Trust to email

Please include the full position title you are applying for in the email subject line.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. The Southern Africa Trust is an equal
opportunities employer.

The Southern Africa Trust reserves the right to modify this job advert or not to make an

Opportunity Closing Date: 11 April 2023

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa or remote. The Trust offices are based in Johannesburg,
South Africa; however this role is open to remote working (preferably to suitable candidates

Click here for the full job profile


Advancing Climate Justice & Accountable Natural Resource Governance in Southern Africa

On the 21st and 22nd of February 2023, our partners from Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe joined us in Johannesburg, South Africa, for a regional dialogue. Our work with them is advancing climate justice and advocating for accountable natural resource governance.

The interlinkage between natural resources and the impacts of climate change is central to people’s lives and livelihoods in Southern Africa.

We are collaborating on implementing initiatives that focus on building agency and advocating for policy shifts. This will ensure that local communities, civil society organizations and human rights defenders are working collectively to protect their lands and livelihoods from destruction, and to hold the extractive sector accountable for the delivery of equitable benefits.

See snippets from the dialogue below.


Gender JusticeNews

16 Days of activism campaign

Today marks the International Day of No Violence Against Women and the start of the 16 Days of Activism campaign. The Global theme for this year’s campaign is “UNiTE! ACTIVISM TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN & GIRLS!”


At the Southern Africa Trust, we center a gender justice agenda across all our work, acknowledging and seeking to effectively respond to the gendered inequalities that perpetuate and feminize poverty. Gender inequality and gender-based violence remain prevalent in the southern African region and across the continent. We partner with others to support activities that amplify the voice and agency of marginalized women and girls across the region. We support and collaborate with a range of formations, networks and organizations to establish and strengthen civil society alliances to advance gender justice at regional and national levels. 


Aligning with the UNiTE campaign’s main principles, the Southern Africa Trust is committed to working with civil society, particularly feminist, gender justice and women’s rights organisations in the region to spur and secure policy changes that achieve transformative impacts on reducing violence against women and girls in the household, community, workplace and public spheres. The Southern Africa Trust kickstarted its campaign partnering with others to convene national dialogues on gender-based violence in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia. The initiative is designed to enhance the coordination of SCOs at national and regional levels to actively unite against gender-based violence. Women’s rights movements and activists have led the fight against GBV, and their work is the bedrock for pushing for accountability and making sure that promises made by duty-bearers become a reality. A world without violence against women and girls is indeed possible and achieving it demands courage, coordination and unity of purpose at all levels. Unite, play your part, Act and Do not look away!


Rural communities part of climate solution

As world leaders attempt to plot the way forward at Cop27, Claude Kabemba, director at Southern Africa Resource Watch, has urged governments and civil society to join hands with rural communities for finding solutions to climate change

Rural African communities are among the most vulnerable people in the world to climate change, yet they are also a key part of the solution.

While government commitments to reducing emissions and reliance on fossil fuels are critical, the people on the ground could hold the secret to a just energy transition. It is time to put communities at the centre of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

The 27th Conference of the Parties (Cop27) on climate change, being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November 2022, will test the collective commitment of global leaders to tackling this severe threat to humanity.

Read more


Paper: Climate Change and the Just Energy Transition

Is Africa trapped? Is the continent ready for the energy transition in line with global efforts to curb climate change? It is estimated that 600 million of Africa’s 1.4 billion people are still without electricity. Although the energy transition is critical, there are concerns that the majority of the population in Africa will become poorer.
About two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions emanate from burning fossil fuels for energy. Access to energy is a key driver for inclusive growth; it creates opportunities for citizens in urban and rural areas. We must act to address the climate crisis without deepening poverty and further entrenching existing inequalities on the continent.
This policy paper discusses Africa’s readiness to transition to green energy and the dependence on developed countries fulfilling their commitments to finance Africa’s transition agenda. It clarifies what just energy transition means in the African context and analyses Africa’s position on fossil fuels, critical minerals, and energy transition.

Click here to read more.


Announcing the new Chief Executive Officer

The Southern Africa Trust’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that it has appointed Ms Alice D. Kwaramba – Kanengoni as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective 2nd September 2022. The appointment follows an extensive search and selection process with candidates from across the Africa region. Ms Kwaramba- Kanengoni is an enterprising, self-driven and highly motivated Senior Executive, a SADC citizen who is driven to contribute meaningfully towards social justice on the African continent, and globally with solid years of work experience.

She joins the Trust following 18 years with the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), where she held a variety of executive management, programme and project leadership roles with most recent, Senior Manager: Strategy, Accountability and Learning. Lauded across organizations for her impeccable leadership on gender equality strategy and programme design, programme management, grant-making and impact assessment. She holds the distinction of successfully leading the design and implementation of strategic programs for betterment of marginalized groups, especially women in Africa. Designed and successfully delivered short, medium & long-term strategies, programs and projects on gender equality, social justice and human rights in the global South.

“The Board of Trustees are delighted to introduce Ms Kwaramba – Kanengoni to our key stakeholders and partners, we believe she is a great fit for the Trust with the combination of education qualifications, skills and experience to grow the Trust into an even greater, more successful and impactful organisation”, said the Board Chairperson.  

Please join the Board of Trustees in welcoming Ms Alice D. Kwaramba – Kanengoni to the Trust.


Sazini Mojapelo


Dialogue – Just Energy Transition & Climate Sustainability

The impact of climate change is disproportionately high in Africa, although it is a low emitter of global greenhouse gas emissions. African countries are expending substantial resources towards coping with side effects, diverting scarce resources and plunging more citizens into poverty. Faced with a dire climate crisis, time is of the essence to curb future climate disasters. Considering this insoluble battle to tackle the impact of climate change, is Africa ready for an energy transition? Can African countries swiftly shift to renewable energy resources?

Join us for the second dialogue in the series Roadmap to COP27: From Johannesburg to Sharma El-Sheikh to discuss energy transition and climate sustainability, focusing on the following issues:

  • With the massive battle to tackle climate change, is Africa ready for the energy transition? Can African countries make a quick transition to renewable energy?
  • How will the energy transition affect citizens in the fossil fuel sector? What must be done to curb job losses for citizens who may not be skilled in the renewable energy sector?
  • What does a just energy transition look like for African countries? What are the effects of capacity constraints resulting from heavy reliance on non-renewable energy sources coal, oil, and gas?
  • What will drive Africa’s energy transition? What are the key issues for discussion around a Just Energy Transition to a low-carbon economy at global climate change negotiations? What are the opportunities for South-to-South collaborations for a Just Energy Transition?

Date: Wednesday 13th July 2022
Time: 11:00 SAST
Platform: Zoom

To learn more about the speakers, click here.


SA Trust partners with community foundations to overcome challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic

The Southern Africa Trust is a regional organisation that supports citizen engagement by generating relevant knowledge to inform policy discussions. It facilitates partnerships between policymakers, civil society and private sector groups for joint action to advance the pro-poor development agenda.

It also mobilises and builds agency among the poor, marginalised and vulnerable groups for their voices to be heard in policy dialogue and the ability to hold governments to account. The Southern Africa Trust programme covers the following areas: climate change and natural resource management, gender justice, youth, economic recovery and Covid-19.

With support from Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, SA Trust is working with community foundations in Southern Africa. These are grantmaking public charities that are dedicated to improving the lives of people in defined local geographical areas. With a spike in poverty levels, unemployment, and loss of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the role of community foundation has gained more significance in identifying and solving community problems.

In South Africa, SA Trust is working with Community Development Foundation Western Cape (CDF-WC), Initiative for Community Advancement (ICA), Cederberg Social Development Foundation (CSDF), Namkawa Ontwikkeling (NAMKO) and Uthungulu Community Foundation (UCF).

CDF manages to keep their doors open

The Community Development Foundation (CDF) Western Cape is looking forward to a sustainable future after forging a partnership with the Southern Africa Trust.

Executive Director of CDF Western Cape Freda Philander said the foundation, which has the vision “to ensure that ordinary people living in the Western Cape are provided the opportunity to identify their potential, set appropriate goals and achieve extraordinary dreams”, managed to keep its doors open amid the donor funding crisis that came with the Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020. A grant from SA Trust came in the nick of time, as international donors were withdrawing funds from community development organisation at the height of the pandemic.

“In South Africa a lockdown was announced in March 2020, and that is when all the donor support was either cancelled, or they exited. Fundraising initiatives were also either aborted or postponed due to lockdown, so there was a possibility that CDF would close in September 2020. SA Trust came in as a partner and gave us a much-needed grant of R300 000, which was made in two tranches. SA Trust helped us with institutional strengthening and put us back on track,” said Philander.

CDF Western Cape works with 13 other local community-based organisations (CBOs) in Delft, Hanover Park, Heideveld, Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha, Seawinds and Atlantis, which in turn reaped positive spinoffs from SA Trust’s grant.

By keeping its doors open, CDF was able to provide grants to local community partners, which went towards feeding schemes in the communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. This opened avenues to the local CBOs to raise funds and forge partnerships for sustainability with other donors.

“In Delft, Masithembele Enrichment Centre joined Food Forward, which provides them with monthly food contributions that reach 80 families. They continue to feed about 4 000 children and adults per month from contributions received through local community giving,” Philander said.

“The Alcardo Andrews Foundation in Hanover Park forged further partnerships and managed to feed 8 900 people in the morning and 1 151 in the evening with warm meals. Due to the Covid-19 relief grant made by CDF Western Cape, the Children Resource Centre was able to attract the attention of some donors that gave them more funding, which allowed them to feed 60 children in 11 areas in the Western Cape for three days per week,” she said.

The charitable foundation’s aim is to continue to support communities while taking care not to strip them of their agency. “It’s about demonstrating the strength and power of, by and for the community. It was and still is the trust relationships built over many years, which continue carrying the foundation through crises,” she said.

Philander added that CDF envisaged an ongoing partnership and collaboration with SA Trust, in the form of “focused and meaningful dialogues on social justice and the alleviation of poverty, horizontal philanthropy, peer training and support”.

Namakwa community fell into hard times

Southern Africa Trust has helped several non-profit organisations (NPOs) in the Northern and Western Cape to navigate the unprecedented difficulties that came with Covid-19, with positive spinoffs for dozens of local communities.

SA Trust has assisted local NPOs involved in community development with capacity building in addition to financial support. Namakwa Ontwikkeling (NAMKO) — a community outreach foundation in Okiep — was on the verge of closing down after 28 years of supporting local communities.

SA Trust has provided financial support to NAMKO, which helps the Namakwa community in Okiep

NAMKO’s Brendon Andrews said SA Trust gave them R425 000 at a time when funding from overseas donors was running dry because of the Covid-19 crisis.

“We are the oldest organisation based in this area. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many other small organisations closed down. They got some of their funds from overseas donors, but during the Covid-19 crisis, those overseas companies and donors withdrew their funding from South Africa, and used it in their own countries,” said Andrews.

“SA Trust first supported us with R250 000, then added another transfer of R108 560; the last one was R65 000. But when we also consider training and non-financial support, it adds up to a lot.”

According to Andrews, who is now 40, and has been working with the community since he was 14, NAMKO has three programmes: Inspired Women, Food Sovereignty and the Youth Programme. It aims to address gender-based violence, food security and over-indebtedness respectively with the three programmes.

The Namakwa community fell into hard times after a copper mine that supplied the bulk of employment in the area closed down in the 1990s. The community was then beset with debt, substance abuse and gender-based violence, along with other social ills symptomatic of unemployment and poverty.

NAMKO sadly lost director Quinta Titus recently, and training exchanges facilitated by SA Trust helped them focus on succession planning. “We are busy fundraising, so that we can set up certain targets for certain issues in our community. For gender-based violence, which is a huge factor around here, we’ve established the Quinton Titus Response Fund. But we’re also not just focusing on GBV; we would like other organisations in the community to apply for funding.”

Andrews said the aid that SA Trust has provided NAMKO will have a positive ripple effect on the communities, as the NPO aims to pay it forward to frontline organisations, to empower them and to mitigate the effect of the donor drain.

Youth recreational centres for drug and substance abuse
A rural-based foundation was able to help people who lost their jobs due to Covid-19 lockdowns start their own businesses, after receiving funds from Southern Africa Trust (SA Trust).

According to Jeremy Maarman, Founder and Director of Initiative for Community Advancement (ICA), the foundation received R260 000 in funding from SA Trust, in addition to non-financial support.

The ICA in Bergrivier is among the many beneficiaries of SA Trust

“SA Trust has been supporting us since 2019 as a capacity-building partner. In 2020 they funded three of our staff members to attend courses at Wits for institutional development. They invested R260 000 in our projects; that funding was received in October 2020.”

The ICA is a small-scale funder of community projects, situated in Piketberg in the Bergrivier municipal area of the Western Cape. The foundation has two active funds: the Bergrivier Youth Fund and the Community Rebuilding Fund.

Anzita Booys received funding from the ICA’s Community Rebuilding Fund, which helped her get back on her feet after she lost her job due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

“I worked for five years at PPC kiosk and due to lockdowns in 2020, I lost my job. I decided I must make a plan. Where was I to get a job during lockdowns?”

Boots used her passion for catering and experience to start her own business. “I registered my business Zita’s Foods and started selling take-aways and platters, and provided catering services. Then I heard that ICA supports small businesses, and I applied for funding.”

Booys got R8 000 funding from ICA and used it to buy equipment and stock. “I bought a deep freezer, a mini oven and groceries, then I got a tender at the PPC kiosk and I am now the owner. It’s almost a year now, and thanks to ICA I am open for business.”

Maarman said the ICA has community-affiliated funds and fund-raises locally. Those funds are distributed for local community issues.

“One of the biggest issues in the rural communities ICA serves is unemployment, which mostly affects young people. The Berg Youth Fund develops youth locally and provides soft skills development and recreational workshops. Idleness can lead to negative behaviours. Drug abuse and substance abuse are huge in our area,” he said.

ICA also has an education fund supported by a dentist who is originally from the Bergrivier area. “Sometimes it is too late to invest in university education for youths. When they go from rural areas to the big city, they can easily be enticed into drugs, and disappear in the system.“The Doctor Somers Education Fund supports beneficiaries from primary school and takes them to well-resourced high schools that offer better quality schooling and career guidance. This allows them to choose subjects in line with their abilities, to curb the high university dropout rate. The support needs to come early on.”

The ICA’s current focus is on getting members of the rural communities in the West Coast to become more actively involved in their own development processes. “We have a contract with SA Trust until September 2021, and we are hopeful their support will continue for another three years,” said Maarman.

Source : Mail & Guardian


WEBINAR: Reflections on the Outcomes of COP26

What was achieved for African countries as we look forward to COP27?

Join the Southern Africa Trust for a dialogue to reflect on the outcomes of COP26! This dialogue is the first for the series “Roadmap to COP27: From Johannesburg to Sharma El-Sheikh” to shape Africa’s narrative for climate justice leading to COP27.  

Africa is uniquely susceptible to the impacts of climate change. It is critical to jointly advocate for Africa’s position on climate justice, ensuring that the voices of marginalised and vulnerable citizens are heard and voiced.  

Key issues to be discussed include: 

  • Assessing the achievements made at COP26 
  • Focusing on challenges in communities from southern Africa that are vulnerable to climate change 
  • Discussing the impact of the climate crisis in South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe 
  • Discussing outcomes from the March African Negotiators Meeting on the COP26  
  • Discharging Africa’s position for the upcoming COP27 

Date: Thursday 19th May 2022
Time:10:00 SAST 
Platform: Zoom