Monday, 01 March 2021

Opportunities to develop the lithium-ion battery value chain in South Africa

  • Year: 2021
  • Author(s): Gaylor Montmasson- Clair, Lesego Moshikaro and Lerato Monaisa (TIPS)

The world of mobility is rapidly changing. The market for electric vehicle (EVs), in all their forms, is growing exponentially. Combined with technological disruptions in the energy space, the rise of EVs puts battery technologies at the core of sustainable development. Multiple technologies and chemistries, with their respective advantages and shortcomings, are competing in a market currently dominated by lithium-ion batteries (LIBs).

Both South Africa’s government and industry have indicated their intention to position the local value chain as a key player in the mobility of the future. This is critical to ensure a just transition to e-mobility which would notably preserve, if not increase, job creation. Indeed, South Africa hosts a vibrant automotive manufacturing value chain. Like in the rest of the world, the domestic industry, however, produces internal combustion engine vehicles and components. This policy brief explores the opportunities for South Africa to have a role in the LIB value chain.


This project comprises a main report and policy brief prepared by TIPS on behalf of the Low Carbon Transport - South Africa (LCT-SA) Project. The project was initiated and funded by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). The TIPS team are: Gaylor Montmasson-Clair, Lesego Moshikaro and Lerato Monaisa. It was overseen by a Steering Committee comprised of Ashanti Mogosetsi (UNIDO), Marie Blanche Ting (UNIDO), Gerhard Fourie (Department of Trade, Industry and Competition – the dtic), Hiten Parmar (uYilo), Jenitha Badul (Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries – DEFF), Shahkira Parker (DEFF), Bopang Khutsoane (Department of Transport – DoT), Marleen Goudkamp (DoT), Minnesh Bipath (South African National Energy Development Institute – SANEDI), and Tebogo Snyer (SANEDI). Phillip Ninela (the dtic), Umeesha Naidoo (the dtic), and Mandisa Nkosi (UNIDO) acted as an internal technical task team.

See Main Research Report: Opportunities to develop the lithium-ion battery value chain in South Africa.

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