Sustainable Growth

Mining value chains and green growth in South Africa: A conflictual but intertwined relationship

  • Year: 2015
  • Organisation: TIPS
  • Publication Author(s): Gaylor Montmasson-Clair
  • Countries and Regions: South Africa

This Working Paper is drawn from research by TIPS prepared for the Global Green Growth Institute, the Economic Development Department and the Department of Trade and Industry. The research explored the impact of electricity price increases on the competitiveness of selected mining sector and smelting value chains in South Africa, looking at whether this has incentivised mining-related companies to invest in renewable energy, cogeneration and energy efficient.

The research concluded that the response of mining value chains to the shift to a green economy cannot be business-as-usual. Successful management of the global green transition will require short-term pragmatism and longer-term planning in the South African mining industry, linking business, government, labour, non-governmental organisations and the research community in support of sustainable development

Key policy recommendations included addressing institutional and legal confusion around environmental regulations; enforcing environmental and social 'licences to operate'; accelerating and supporting the use of renewable energy and cogeneration; and the need to better understand the interplay between industrial development, trade and the green economy in South Africa,  particularly the potential risks and opportunities.