Who Has the Power? South Africa’s Energy Profiteers is Open Secrets’ first report examining the energy sector and climate crisis. The report shows who holds the power in South Africa’s energy sector and spotlights the key private players in the coal, gas, diesel, and renewable energy industries—who we call ‘energy profiteers’. We identify the private corporations that stand to benefit from maintaining the status quo, i.e. a reliance on fossil fuels, in South Africa’s energy sector. We also identify the corporations that stand to benefit from South Africa’s transition to new energy sources.
We focus on corporate actors deliberately, to demonstrate that South Africa’s energy and climate crises are not solely the fault of the state and the result of the collapse of Eskom. In doing so, we hope that the report contributes to the ongoing conversation on the climate crisis and energy transition in South Africa and helps identify those corporate interests that may stand in the way of a just transition. Challenging these, we argue, is fundamental to challenging South Africa’s role in the planetary climate crisis.