Campaign timeline

Note: Please see our separate campaign timelines for:


March: Our work is profiled on the US public radio show, The World.

February: We launch our #InvestFossilFree campaign, asking SA’s biggest asset managers to offer fossil free funds.


February: Together with various partners including Just Share, we put the argument for fossil fuel divestment to a small group of representatives of four philanthropies and the Independent Philanthropies Association of South Africa, during a meeting in Johannesburg.


10-11 September: We participate in the Financing the Future global divestment summit held in Cape Town, after serving on the conference steering committee for months.

9 September: We helped plan, and participated in, the Mission-Aligned Investment seminar focused on divestment by philanthropies, a prelude to the Financing the Future conference.

31 July and 1 August: We held our first-ever ‘Climate-Proofing Retirement Funds’ events in Cape Town and Johannesburg this week, focused on asset owners, particularly retirement fund boards. We were honoured to host Fiona Reynolds, CEO of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, as a keynote speaker at both events.


23 June: Second Divest Fest held in Johannesburg, co-hosted with 350 Africa.

19 June: The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee “approved an amendment that bans the City from investing in instruments with high carbon dioxide emissions. Effectively, this policy will divert from the use of fossil fuel assets and companies”. (But in the same week, the City “signed a new grant agreement with a US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) last week to study the effective use of natural gas distribution networks”.)

24 February: We hold our first Divest Fest in Cape Town.


4 September: Two South African Catholic institutions, the Archdiocese of Cape Town, and Catholic Welfare and Development, announce their decisions to divest as part of a greater global group of 40 divesting Catholic institutions. Both are institutions which FFSA has engaged in dialogue encouraging divestment.

19 June: After nine months of joint representations from FFSA and 350 Africa, the City of Cape Town commits to fossil fuel divestment. Mayor Patricia de Lille:

I am taking this a step further and I have informed our Finance Directorate that we are going to divest from fossil fuel assets and companies in favour of greener and cleaner investments which are in line with our vision of a sustainable future. We are going to instruct investors looking after our money not to put our money into fossil fuel-related companies or for it to be used to fund the development of dirty and unsustainable projects. We want our investments to be aligned with our principles of resilience and sustainability.

17/18 May: Fossil Free SA attends an international workshop in Amsterdam on divesting global pension funds, convened by the Wallace Global Fund and Both ENDS.

15 May: Fossil Free SA attends the UCT divestment think-tank event co-hosted by the Climate Action Project, Green Campus Initiative, the Vice Chancellor Dr Max Price and Pro Vice Chancellor for Climate Change Professor Mark New.

10 May: After months of planning, we convene the first-ever workshop on divestment for financial services professionals in Cape Town.


30 September: The Anglican Church of South Africa votes to divest from fossil fuels.

May: The international campaign for fossil fuel divestment and our work is covered in earthworks magazine.

6 April: The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation resolves to “divest from fossil fuels, and to pressure South African investment companies and fund managers to create a new breed of ethical investment vehicle devoid of fossil fuel, mining, tobacco and alcohol components.”

21 April: David Le Page, FFSA campaign coordinator, wins the Eco-Warrior category in the 2015/16 Enviropaedia Eco-Logic Awards.


26 November: We hold a successful screening of the Naomi Klein film This Changes Everything in Cape Town.

8 October: Stellenbosch University students write to the university administration urging divestment.

18 June: Fossil Free SA presents the rationale for fossil fuel divestment to analysts at Futuregrowth Asset Management.

27 May: David Le Page of Fossil Free SA joins a panel discussion on whether non-profits should align their investments with their values, hosted by Inyathelo.

12 May: Fossil Free UCT facilitates a meeting between May Boeve of, UCT Vice Chancellor Dr Max Price and members of the UCT investment task team.

11 May: Fossil Free UCT, with the Green Campus Initiative, hosts a talk by May Boeve, executive director of

28 March: Fossil Free SA meets the public at the WWF/AIDC Renewable Energy Festival.

19 February: Fossil Free SA becomes a formal legal entity (a voluntary association seeking PBO status) and our first ever management meeting is convened in Kenilworth, Cape Town.

13 February: As part of international divestment day, Fossil Free UCT conducts small demonstrations at several locations on the UCT campus.

28 January: Public talk on divestment at Kalk Bay Books


27 November: FFSA launch in Durban attended by 40 people.

26 November: Fossil Free SA launch in Howick attended by 16 people. (This launch was initiated by the Howick community, and we were glad to add it to our schedule.)

24 November: FFSA launch in Pretoria, attended by 15 people.

20 November: FFSA launch in Johannesburg at St Francis in Parkview attended by 40 people, with guest speakers Ronnie Kasrils (former minister of water affairs and forestry), Makoma Lekalakala (Earthlife Africa) and Ferrial Adam (350 Africa).

19 November: FFSA launch in Bloemfontein attended by six academics at the University of the Free State.

12 November: Fossil Free South Africa launched in Cape Town at the Mountain Club in Hatfield Street, with keynote speakers Rev Mpho Tutu of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, and Anton Cartwright of the UCT African Centre for Cities.

25 October: Our first ever ‘divestment dinner’. Seven guests watched Do The Math, and then discussed divestment as a strategy. A template letter for writing to investment managers requesting fossil free investments was distributed. Participants were invited to register support for Fossil Free SA. Salad was eaten.

5 July: Presentation on our campaign to the World Student Environment Network 2014 summit.

20 June: Presentation on our campaign at the Student Energy Summit 2014 at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.


5 November: Our genesis, as nine UCT faculty, staff, students and alumni write to UCT asking for information on its current fossil fuel investments, and suggesting divestment. The UCT campaign is tracked on its own timeline.