South Africa’s ambassador to Russia slams Germany and accuses them of double standards

South Africa's ambassador to Russia slams Germany and accuses them of double standards. Image: Sunshine Seeds/

SOUTH AFRICA’S ambassador to Russia, Mzuvukile Maketuk, has slammed Germany and accused them of double standards after German Economy Minister Robert Habeck called on the country to resume coal mining for exports.

Speaking to Russian state-controlled media outlet RIA on Sunday, December 11, South Africa’s ambassador to Russia said that Germany called on his country to resume coal mining for exports and speculated on the need for an energy transition.

Maketuka slammed Habeck, who had earlier visited South Africa and Namibia where he held talks with the heads of state on energy supply, decarbonisation and business expansion.

“The Germans have been quite aggressive in their policy of seeking new markets,” Maketuka told RIA.

“They came to South Africa to discuss the energy transition.”

He added: “At the same time they themselves have increased coal imports from South Africa on a huge scale.

“The contradiction is that South Africa has practically stopped mining and using coal for its own needs and is now selling it to Germany.”

The ambassador said that South Africa needs the energy but has taken its decarbonisation commitments seriously.

“Even though we still have large reserves of coal that will last for 200 years to come, we have closed most of the mines,” he said.

“And now there is pressure on our government to resume coal mining.”

He added: “European countries are also doing this, they are opening frozen mines.”

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck also attended the Afro-German Business Summit in Johannesburg.

As noted by the Russian media outlet, the news of Germany’s apparent double standard comes after the Climate Investment Initiative Fund (CIF), which is affiliated with the World Bank, announced that it would give South Africa $500 million (€474 million) from private and public investors to replace some coal-fired power plants with green alternatives.

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Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]