Our story so far
We are a network of South Africans (PBO 930049178, NPO 149-064) calling for divestment from fossil fuels – and restorative reinvestment in sustainable energy – to stigmatise fossil fuel use, accelerate sustainable system change, help slow climate change, reduce the financial risks of fossil fuel investments, and so help secure our human rights and common future.
Our campaign is run by a small active management team (our board), a full-time coordinator, part-time staff and volunteers, supported by our members, mostly individuals who have strongly supported our work and whom we have invited to join our voluntary association.
We’re part of the global divestment movement originally inspired by 350.org and now spanning more than 1100 institutions that include churches, philanthropies retirement funds, cities like New York, London, Paris, Melbourne and Cape Town, and assets valued at over $14 trillion (as of February 2019).
In 2017, we helped persuade the City of Cape Town to divest, and we were instrumental in securing divestment by Africa’s top-rated university, the University of Cape Town, in March 2022. We continue to engage other universities, notably Wits and Stellenbosch; and South African asset managers, on divestment. Please support our campaigns and watch our timelines and news for updates.
- In 2021, our lobbying resulted in the University of Cape Town’s responsible investment panel making a landmark recommendation for fossil fuel divestment to the University.
- With 350 Africa, we helped push the City of Cape Town to become the first African city to commit to divestment from fossil fuels in 2017. Read our full campaign timeline here.
- Our lobbying, with the endorsement of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, successfully pushed the University of Cape Town to become the first African university with a responsible investment committee in 2018, and we have now twice passed votes at UCT’s Convocation for the university to divest. Read our full campaign timeline here.
- We held successful workshops on divestment for asset managers in 2017 and, in partnership with the UN-supported Principle for Responsible Investment, for retirement funds in 2019.
- Our 2018 Spotlight Campaign started pressuring asset managers to create fossil-free funds.
- We’ve built up a substantial body of expertise and connections on the climate, finance and responsible investment nexus in South Africa.
- We were one of the lead organisers on the September 2019 Financing the Future Conference, the first global divestment conference in the Global South.