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presentations from contrasting perspectives

Climate Justice, South Africa & the World Bank

Friday, April 9, 2010, 12 noon - 2:00 p.m. South Africa now has its 4th post-Apartheid president... But the country is more unequal than ever! It is also under consideration for a World Bank loan to “modernize” it ailing electrical power infrastructure. Revamping its grid would normally be a rare opportunity to set a new course, redress inequalities and implement a green strategy. But activist-intellectual Patrick Bond warns that the opposite seems likely with the Bank loan. It will strengthen the private sector and increase the gap between rich and poor: urban residents prepay their electricity at 4 times the discounted rate available to large corporations. Further, the proposed loan will finance the world's 4th largest coal-fired plant—just the opposite of what is required by our climate crisis—and raise rates on working people. (see attachment for civil society's reaction).