Global Climate Strike 2021 Report: #UprootTheDMRE #UprootTheSystem



On Friday 24th September 2021, as South Africa celebrated national Heritage Day, more than 300 people – predominantly young people – gathered in front of parliament, in Cape Town, in support of the Global Climate Strike and national Uproot the DMRE campaign. 

The action was led by the African Climate Alliance with the organisation supported by several allied groups, including, Project 90 by 2030, Extinction Rebellion, Green Connection and Eastern Cape Environmental Alliance.

The demonstration, which kicked off at 11am, formed part of the national week of action in which civil society groups and trade unions in all nine provinces around South Africa mobilised for the transformation of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) under the banner of #UprootTheDMRE in line with the broader Global Climate Strike theme of #UprootTheSystem.


  1. The urgent establishment of a Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the Climate and Ecological Crisis.
  2. 1.5°C compatible NDC target for COP26.
  3. Department of Basic Education to adjust the National Education Curriculum to improve coverage of Earth Sciences,
    with a specific focus on national literacy in Climate Change.
  4. An end to all public and private capital investment in fossil fuel-intensive industry.
  5. A commitment to eliminating all fossil fuel electricity production by 2035 at the very latest.
  6. Parliament to table a motion to consider and debate the adoption of the Climate Justice Charter which was first
    presented to Parliament in 2020 by the Climate Justice Charter Movement.
  7. Transformation of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in line with the national #UprootTheDMRE Demands.

The demands were accepted by 

  • A representative of the Presidency and ruling party: Deputy Director General for Climate Change and Air Quality, Dr. Thulie Khumalo
  • A representative of the Speaker of Parliament: Victor Ngaleka – Procedural Advisor to the Speaker of the National Assembly
  • ANC Representatives Hon. Qubudile Dyantyi and Hon. Khaya Magaxa
  • DA Representative Hon David Bryant, the Shadow Minister of Environmental Affairs

The full memorandum can be viewed here

Michelle Maka from African Climate Alliance Reading the memorandum in the Uproot The DMRE protest. Photo: Mawande Sobetwa (from left: ACA youth activists Gabriel Klaasen, Ntsikayethu Nikelo, Petra Debeer, Mitchelle Mhaka, Nick Ford, Raeesah Noor Mohammed)



Head marshal Neville Van Rooy getting the crowd energised

MC Zipho Majova with powerful opening statements 

Raeesah Noor Mohammed with “We Will Fight” on Ukulele

Speech by ACA ambassador 14 year old Yola Mgogwana on the climate impacts in her community

Two learners from Mfuleni High School who arrived with a song prepared all about water conservation

Liyema from Youth Against the System sang a traditional song repurposed for energy struggle

ACA coordinator Sarah Robyn Farrell leading the crowd in a ‘peace cry’

ACA coordinator Gabriel Klaasen unpacking the local uproot the system call, and leading the crowd in a call and response

Khoi Traditional Andre Naidoo from the interfaith community leading a song

Soundz of the South (SOS), an anti-capitalist cultural resistance movement working with activists who use hip-hop and poetry to spread revolutionary messages, raise consciousness and critique neo-liberalism, performed

Geronimo Deklerk from Feed the Future

A moment of silence to honour those who lost their lives in the struggle for socio-environmental justice

Handing over of the memorandum and opportunity for politicians to say a few words

Media coverage

Fridays for Future Press Conference with Gabriel Klaasen, Vanessa Nakate, Greta Thunberg etc. 

Fridays for Future Press Conference

Online Article: Young activists demand better leadership on environment in run-up to global climate strikes


Daily Maverick

Online Article: DMRE comes under fire from just energy transition

Energy Voice 

Online Article: Coalition puts pressure on govt to cancel plans for new coal-fired power

Mining Weekly 

Online Article: Mantashe must abandon plans to develop 1,500MW of coal-powered electricity, or face court case, say activists


Daily Maverick

TV News: Joining fight against climate change

eNCA – DSTV channel 403

TV News: Climate change activists gather outside parliament as part of a worldwide protest campaign



Online Article: Climate change activists protest outside Parliament, hand over memorandum


TV News: Uproot the Energy Department march


eNCA – DSTV channel 403

Gabriel Interview on TV : Climate Justice | Uproot the Energy Department march

eNCA – DSTV channel 403

Online Article: Hundreds demand action against climate change outside Parliament



Tweet from EWN Reporter

Eyewitness News Twitter

Online Article: South African protesters join global climate strike event

Daily Maverick


EyeWitness News

Online Article: Global Climate Strike: Cape activists call for government to #UprootTheDMRE



Print: The end is nigh

City Press

Online Article: South Africa’s young climate strikers hit back at critics

Mail and Guardian

Online Article: Meet the young activist from Mitchells Plain who’s fighting for a greener world

Mail and Guardian


A total of R50 950.41 was spent on the mobilisation with funding support from 350 Africa with Project 90 by 2030 handling all payments. 

The budget covered: 

  • Transport for young people and community members on the outskirts of Cape Town who requested transport assistance 
  • 3oo Apples
  • Sound truck and stage 
  • Stage manager & MC
  • Tree root artwork and Soundz of the South performance


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