South Africa's government is still discussing details of a $8.5 billion fund offered by rich western nations last year to help the country shift away from coal, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The United States, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union pledged at total of $8.5 billion during COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, last November, to help South Africa, the world's 12th biggest emitter of climate-warming gases and a major coal producer and user, to shift away from the fossil fuel.

"A joint negotiations team has been established between South Africa and the partner group of countries to discuss an investment plan and financing modalities as reflected in the political declaration," Maesela Kekana, South Africa's chief negotiator at COP26, told lawmakers during a virtual briefing.

(Reporting by Nelson Banya; Editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo)