Past Projects

Sustainable Growth

South Africa has shown an increasing commitment to sustainable development. Along with its involvement in international negotiations, it has developed its own national framework for a shift to a green economy.

South Africa recognises sustainable development as a human right in the Bill of Rights of its 1996 Constitution and also committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, which include environmental sustainability as a target. A National Framework for Sustainable Development was adopted in 2008 and, building on this, a National Strategy for Sustainable Development and Action Plan 2011 – 2014 was published as government policy on 23 November 2011. South African policies and strategic documents, such as the Industrial Policy Action Plan, the New Growth Path and the National Development Plan, have increasingly mainstreamed the importance of the green economy in the country.

The country is also a party to both the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and has made commitments under the Cancun Agreement for its greenhouse gas emissions to “peak, plateau and decline”, with reductions in emissions of 34% in 2020 and 42% in 2025.

South Africa is also party to many international conventions and agreements on biodiversity (such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance) and pollution issues (such as the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer).

Within this highly-interconnected context, TIPS’s Sustainable Growth pillar has maintained a triple focus on both climate change, the green economy and energy issues since its inception in 2010. In line with TIPS’s overall strategy, the Sustainable Growth focus area delivers analysis, dialogue facilitation and policy application services in these areas:

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  • Year 2014
Project name: Evaluation of South Africa's Integrated Resource Plan Client: National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) Funder: Nedlac Trade and Industry Chamber Duration: 2014 Summary Energy, and electricity issues in particular, have been high on the South African agenda since the 2008 crisis, which saw the country’s national power utility Eskom implement rolling load shedding and cut supplies to a number of large customers, such as mines and minerals beneficiation plants. As South Africa experienced in 2014 the most stringent power cuts since 2008, reviewing the current electricity planning process is both a timely and necessary exercise. This review, based on…

  • Year 2013
Official project name: Scoping a Green and Inclusive Growth Economy Observatory for Africa (GIGEO-Africa) Client: TIPS Funder: International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Duration: February-April 2013 Summary The Sustainable Growth pillar is driving an Africa-wide initiative to investigate the state of the green economy on the continent. TIPS organised in March 2013 a week-long workshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on scoping a Green Economy Observatory for Africa (GEO-Africa). The workshop, organised with the support of Canada’s IDRC, gathered relevant research institutions and policymakers from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania to discuss green economy issues in an…

  • Year 2013
Project name: Regulatory Entities Capacity Building: Review of Regulators Orientation and Performance Client: Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development, University of Johannesburg Funder: Economic Development Department Duration: 2013 - March 2014 Summary Effective performance by economic regulators is important for growth and development. In recognition of the importance of their role, the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development, University of Johannesburg has commissioned the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development to undertake a research and capacity building project for economic regulators in South Africa. The Regulatory Entities Capacity Building Project involves a review of the performance of the economic regulators as well as identifying…

  • Year 2013
Project name: The impact of electricty price increases on the competitiveness of selected mining sector and smelting value chains in South Africa  Client: Economic Development Department (EDD) and Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) Funder: Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Duration: 2013-2014 Summary This research project was jointly commissioned by the EDD and the dti. The GGGI was tasked with implementing the project as part of a partnership to support the South African government’s green growth planning efforts. TIPS was the primary research partner and service provider. This project is the result of the collaboration of all of these institutions. The South African…

  • Year 2013
Official project name: Tracking Climate Finance Inflows to South Africa Client: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Funder: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Duration: 15 January 2013 - 21 March 2013 Summary TIPS was commissioned in 2013 by the OECD to carry out a case study focused on the state of the tracking of public and private climate-related inflows to South Africa. The study investigates South Africa’s strategy on climate finance (tracking). It then describes South Africa’s project-based approach for tracking and explores what data on public (domestic and foreign) and private climate finance inflows are available…

  • Year 2012
Official project name: Sharing technology in a low-carbon knowledge economy Client: South African Institute of International Affairs Funder: South African Institute of International Affairs Duration: 2012-2013 Summary In 2012, TIPS’s Sustainable Growth pillar worked for the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) on a research paper on intellectual property in climate negotiations, including a case study focused on concentrated solar power (CSP). The paper shows that the technological revolution required by climate action can be achieved by existing technology, but would benefit immensely from continued innovation to lower costs. The sheer scale of investment required necessitates the wholesale participation…

  • Year 2012
Official project name: Green Jobs in South Africa / Part of the Social Dialogue for Green and Decent Jobs. South Africa - European Dialogue on Just Transition project Client: Sustainlabour Foundation Funder: European Union Duration: 7 March 2012 – 20 April 2012 Summary TIPS was commissioned in 2012 by the Sustainlabour Foundation to produce a comprehensive report on green jobs and related policy frameworks in South Africa. The research forms part of the Social Dialogue for Green and Decent Jobs: South Africa - European Dialogue on Just Transition project, co-funded by EuropeAid and Sustainlabour, in which the Congress of South…

  • Year 2012
Official project name: Technical support on economic modelling of impacts of international policies and mechanisms on markets, sectors, climate finance and technology on South Africa / GIZ Project: DEA Climate Change Support Program Client: Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Chief Directorate - International Climate Change Relations and Negotiations Funder: Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Duration: 15 April 2012 - 31 March 2013     Summary   TIPS was contracted in 2012/2013 by GIZ to provide technical assistance to the DEA on three topics in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations: The use of (carbon) markets to improve the allocative…

  • Year 2012
Official project name: Facilitation of a Sectoral Workshop and Preparation of a Briefing Paper. Rio+20 Project / Research and Technical Cooperation Services Unit for the Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement Facility Client: WWF and Department of Environmental Affairs Funder: Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (European Union) Duration: 22 March 2012 – 10 April 2012 Summary In 2012, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) engaged with civil society stakeholders to inform its response to the Rio+20 Zero Draft Outcome Document, The Future We Want. The DEA supported the organisation of four sectoral workshops with relevant stakeholders from the environmental movement, labour,…

  • Year 2012
Official project name: Beyond GDP Client: British High Commission and South African government (Department of Environmental Affairs, National Planning Commission, Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Economic Development Department) Funder: British High Comission – Prosperity Fund Duration: 1 February 2012 – 31 March 2012 Summary In 2012, TIPS initiated research on Beyond GDP indicators of sustainability in South Africa with the financial support of the British High Commission. The project analysed whether gross domestic product (GDP) or alternative measures of welfare, specifically Real Wealth or Adjusted Net Savings (ANS), provide a better indicator of sustainable development, by evaluating the correlation…

  • Year 2012
Asset Research (www.assetresearch.org.za) is an economy/ecology think-tank that seeks to internalise the importance of natural assets – such as water, energy, biodiversity and fertile land – in the search for alternative development paths. It is a non-governmental organisation and public benefit organisation based at the University of Pretoria. The South African Water Research Commission (www.wrc.org.za) provided financial support for a research project on the impact of re-establishing indigenous plants and restoring the natural landscape on sustainable rural employment and land productivity through payment for environmental services. TIPS provided additional support in 2012 for the development of five policy briefs based…

  • Year 2011
Official project name: greenindustries.org.za - An Online Forum for Green Industry Consumers, Suppliers and Policymakers Client: Department of Environmental Affairs Funder: British High Commission – Prosperity Fund Duration: 1/06/2011 – 31/03/2012 Summary The Sustainable Growth pillar developed a website (http://www.greenindustries.org.za) for the Department of Environmental Affairs to connect green industry actors to each other as well as gathering relevant reference information on the sector. The website provides a platform for information exchange and debate on green industries in South Africa. The website, which was sponsored by the British High Commission until the end of 2012, also serves as a directory…

  • Year 2011
Official project name: Green Jobs - An estimate of direct employment potential of a greening South African economy Client: Industrial Development Corporation, Development Bank of Southern Africa and TIPS Funder: Industrial Development Corporation, Development Bank of Southern Africa and TIPS Duration: 2011 Summary TIPS, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) contributed to a groundbreaking report that estimated the direct job opportunities from a greening economy in South Africa. The joint report, launched in December 2011, estimated the employment potential in the formal sector of the green economy in South Africa to be about…

  • Year 2011
Official project name: Green Industries Strategy Client: Department of Trade and Industry Funder: Department of Trade and Industry Duration: 2011 Summary TIPS has carried out pioneering work in the field of green industries. TIPS provided technical support to the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through the part-time secondment of its Programme Manager for Sustainable Growth. TIPS assisted the department in establishing a Sector Strategy for Green Industries as well as a Sub-Sector Strategy for Solar and Wind Power. This work directly led to the establishment of the Green Industries desk at the dti. TIPS also provided assistance to…

  • Year 2011
Official project name: Co-ordination and facilitation of the Economic Regulators Conference Client: National Energy Regulator of South Africa Funder: National Energy Regulator of South Africa Duration: August 2011 - August 2012 Summary TIPS was appointed in 2011/2012 to facilitate and co-ordinate the organisation of the first South African Economic Regulators Conference (SAERC) which took place on 21-22 August 2012 on behalf of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA). In addition to all logistical requirements, TIPS managed the call for papers and was responsible for the selection and quality control of the conference papers. The conference explored the following…

  • Year 2010
Official project name: Trade and climate change: Policy and economic implications for South Africa Client: Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town Funder: Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town Duration: 2010-2011 Summary Climate and trade issues lie at the intersection of two of the world’s most contested, delayed and important multilateral negotiations: climate change, under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and international trade, as regulated by the World Trade Organization (WTO). In August 2010, TIPS was commissioned by the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town,…

  • Year 2010
Official project name: Alternative Energy Generation for South Africa Client: Employment Promotion Programme Phase Two (EPP P2), Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) at the University of Cape Town  Funder: Employment Promotion Programme Phase Two (EPP P2), Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) at the University of Cape Town  Duration: 26.04.2010 - 26.07.2010 Summary TIPS, in collaboration with PDG Consulting, carried out a research project in 2010 on alternative energy generation for the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) at the University of Cape Town. The project, which formed part of the Employment Promotion Programme Phase Two (EPP P2), included three components. First, TIPS and…

  • Year 2010
Official project name: Financing Needs and Preconditions for the South African Renewables Initiative (SARi) Client: KfW Entwicklungsbank Funder: KfW Entwicklungsbank Duration: 30 August 2010 - 1 December 2010 Summary In 2010, the KfW Entwicklungsbank commissioned a study to determine the feasibility of, and preconditions for, the South African Renewables Initiative (SARi) during the stage of its conceptualisation. Special attention was paid to the role that the German government could play as an international funder of SARi and the implications of this support for the German government, German businesses, and international climate change negotiations. The project highlighted the scope, development and…

  • Year 2009
Official project name: Commercial Climate Change Risks and Opportunities in South Africa Client: Camco Funder: British High Commission Duration: May 2009 – November 2010 Summary TIPS participated in a research project led by Camco, an international consulting firm specialising in climate change solutions, and financed by the British High Commission. This considered the indirect effects that climate change could have on South Africa's economy, ranging from impacts on the tourism sector, aviation and food exports, to commercial opportunities in low carbon technologies and the promotion of alternative carbon markets. In addition to the main report, a series of 18 sectoral…

  • Year 2008
Economic data resources for researchers and students in South Africa are difficult and expensive to access. In some cases the reasons for this lack of access revolve around the cost of sourcing, developing and maintaining these resources. But even relatively inexpensive or public domain datasets are difficult to find in an easily accessible form. Moreover, each data source supplies the data in a different format, using a different user-interface and different modes of access. ADAT provided access to students and researchers affiliated to any economics or related department of any South African university to a range of data sources in…