The Green Connection’s 2022 Legacy Comrades Are Ready To Take On Eco-injustice
The Green Connection Legacy Programme 2022 Award Ceremony was held on October 18 this year, with 13 young Legacy comrades receiving their award certificates for successful completion of the programme. Each of these graduates completed the workshop tasks and practical assignments based on the eight-step advocacy framework on environmental and social justice, and are empowered with knowledge, confidence and strategies for fighting eco-injustice.
Launched in 2021, the Legacy Programme aims to equip young eco-activists with the advocacy skills needed to make a real change. The programme shares a wealth of information and provides participatory learning opportunities, workshops and mentoring to environmental activists from local community groups. These young activists learn to understand and utilise the South African constitution, policies and governance in their fight for justice; identify and utilise the right channels for addressing eco-injustices; mobilise others to join their eco-justice campaigns; and use the media to enable communities to have an amplified voice in governance and decision-making around sustainable development. The speakers at the events were The Green Connection Strategic Lead, Liz McDaid and Community Outreach Coordinator Neville Van Rooy. Along with Legacy Programme 2021 Champion, Zukisa Mankabane from Eastern Cape Environmental Network.
The Green Connection’s Strategic Lead Liziwe McDaid says, “I am thrilled that the programme is proving to be successful. With young advocates all over the country equipped with skills and the confidence to not only participate in decisions that affect their environment, but also rally support for their causes and demand justice from government, the future for our earth and oceans looks a little more promising,” she said.
The 2022 Legacy Programme certificate was awarded to the following Legacy Comrades: from Amadiba Crisis Committee, Nomfuneko Goyi, for successfully raising awareness about how to conserve and protect the environment in Mthentu village; Nozipho Goyi for successfully amplifying The Green Connection’s petition against offshore oil and gas in Xholobeni and raising awareness about oil and gas projects that will affect marine life, and Thandokazi Dlamini, for successfully opposing oil and gas projects and raising awareness in Mthentu village to conserve the environment. Thandokazi said: “I’ve learnt how to fight for my rights, protect the environment, plan public meetings and plan to engage with leaders.”
From Coastal Links, Port St Johns, Nandipha Nogiwna for successfully raising awareness about offshore oil and gas exploration in Sicambeni Village, Port St John’s; Sifiso Stanley Ntsunguzi, for successfully advocating against Shell’s oil and gas exploration in the Wild Coast and engaging with community members about the dangers of oil and gas projects in oceans; and Ezile Jiba for fighting against exploitation of the ocean’s natural resources by oil and gas multinational companies and raising awareness in Sicambeni Village. “I’ve learnt how to protect the environment and use the environment sustainably,” said Ezile. “I’ve also learnt the South African constitution and how to use it if the government does activities that may harm people and their livelihoods.”
Thabiso Puba was awarded the certificate for successfully opposing Karpowerships in Coega and raising awareness against oil and gas exploration. Thabiso said: “In this programme, I’ve learnt how advocacy work is done, the strategies one needs in order to be successful, and how we can go about in this struggle to appeal for court cases, network with other activists, and encourage members of the public to join the movement.”
Also awarded the certificate were Wongeka Xatasi from Eastern Cape Environmental Network,for mobilising fishers in the Eastern Cape to address issues of accessing the ocean and fishing quotas; Julianne Danhaussen from Small Scale Fishers Bigai, for successfully holding meetings with the municipality in Knysna about employment opportunities and the removal of alien species; Darlin McQuin for successfully raising awareness about a TransAtlantic, a diamond mining company in the West Coast and protecting the environment against pollution; Sikhulile Mbonambi for successfullyorganising meetings with the local leaders in KwaZulu-Natal to address local issues, such as lack of access to protected areas in Isimangaliso; and Nozuko Songutyana for raising awareness about oil and gas exploration projects that could potentially jeopardize the environment in Xholobeni.
Ntandokababa Mathenjwa was awarded a certificate for successfully conducting a beach clean-up in Mabibi beach KwaZulu-Natal and raising awareness about oil and gas projects.
“I’ve learnt about the South African constitution,” said Ntandokababa. “Additionally, I’ve learnt how to speak in front of a large crowd of people, through public speaking.”
One of the speakers at the event was Zukisa Mankabane from Eastern Cape Environmental Network, and 2021 Legacy Programme Champion. Zukisa shared some words of wisdom to the 2022 legacy comrades: “If there are environmental or social challenges in your community, develop projects and programmes of action and propose solutions,” he said. “In advocacy work, always give 100%.”