South Africa Joins Global Call For Change On Climate Policies
South Africa national symbols (Photo: Courtesy: Portfolio Collection)

Several people have gathered near the South African Constitutional Court in Johannesburg on Friday to join the global call for more action against climate change, Concise News reports.

“Act now or there will be hell and high water” and “Don’t be a fossil fool” were some of the messages adorning posters as the sweltering heat seemed to beat down its own warning.

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A giant papier mache sun, a bird puppet with fiery wings, stilt walkers and a schoolboy in a panda suit added to the festive atmosphere of the peaceful march.

Teen activists Tariro Banganayi and Natalie Kapsosideris pleaded with the crowd to put more pressure on a government, which they claim is “stealing the youth’s future.”

South Africa has been criticised for its heavy reliance on fossil fuels.

Earlier this year, the town of Kriel in the north-eastern province of Mpumalanga was named in a Greenpeace report as being the second-worst sulphur dioxide pollution hotspot in the world.

Trade unions, representing the workers of large companies accused of putting profits before pollution also attended the march.

These companies “pay high taxes to the government” and so have “massive influence,” said Banganayi, adding that it is the poorest people, who will be most affected by the crisis.

According to the United Nations (UN), Africa will be severely affected by a “warming world,” which will have implications on rainfall and temperature.

West Africa is a climate change hotspot, with the Sahel region possibly the most affected area in the world, according to the report.

Similar marches took place in Uganda and Kenya on Friday.

South Africa leaves main lending rate on hold

Meanwhile, South Africa’s central bank left its main interest rate on hold at 6.5 per cent on Thursday in a unanimous decision.

The majority of economists polled by Reuters had predicted that the South African Reserve Bank would leave the rate on hold.

South Africa has seen benign inflation outcomes this year, but growth has been sluggish.

However, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Governor Lesetja Kganyago on Thursday as he announced the central bank’s latest decision on its benchmark report rate insisted that “the medium-term inflation outlook is largely unchanged.

“Electricity, food and fuel price inflation continue to shape the near and medium-term trajectory of headline inflation,” he added.

In the second quarter of this year, Kganyago said the South Africa’s GDP rebounded from the contraction experienced in the first quarter, but economic activity levels still remain weak.

“While global growth remains resilient, recent indicators on trade and manufacturing have deteriorated and a range of downside risks to growth remain.

“Based on recent short term economic indicators for the mining and manufacturing sectors, the third quarter GDP outcome is expected to be muted.

“The QPM (Quarterly Projection Model) assesses the rand to remain slightly undervalued. While the rand has benefited from improvements in global sentiment, investors remain concerned about domestic growth prospects and fiscal risks,” the governor said.