Projects

This project aims to shed light on the trade-related risks faced by South Africa as a result of the global transition to a low-carbon economy. From a trade and industrial perspective, this transition has implications on the composition and dynamics of entire value chains. This concerns what inputs are accessed, the processes that underlie production, what goods and services are produced, as well as what happens to these products post-consumption. The transition materialises through two complementary streams: the development of new, green industries and the greening of existing, traditional industries. The research is available in a number of related documents.  A main report on The global climate change regime and its impacts on South Africa's trade and competitiveness: A data note on South Africa's exports; case studies on the wine industry and green hydrogen; six country briefs on China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the European Union; and key data is Excel format.

Funded by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.

COVID-19 is having a massive disruptive effect on the local and global economy. Since the start of the outbreak, TIPS has prepared and commissioned a number of research reports and policy briefs on the economic impact of the pandemic, and is now producing a weekly Tracker on the economy and the pandemic. TIPS has also held seminars and participated in several panel discussions on the economic impact of COVID-19.

TIPS Tracker: The economy and the pandemic

Policy Briefs

Working papers

Media articles

These working papers are part of workstream 6 on Regional Growth and Development within the Southern Africa – Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED) project, a three-year partnership between UNU-WIDER and the South African government aimed at improving understanding of regional value chains and supporting industrialisation in the SADC region. In year one of the project TIPS produced five papers: lessons from ASEAN; an analysis of local content requirements as a non-tariff barrier; and reviews of three value chains: agro-processing machinery, motorcycle parts and the aftermarket industry, and capital equipment for copper processing.

Climate change will have drastic impacts on South Africa’s economy and society, and the need to adapt is urgent. As the country embarks on a just transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally-sustainable economy, an opportunity exists to develop domestic small, green businesses.

This report and five case studies are part of a broader initiative on small business development in South Africa’s climate change space, by TIPS with support and funding from the Government of Flanders. The research comprises a main report, which summarises the research findings on the topic, and five case studies on South African-based entrepreneurs active in the adaptation space: AB Farms, EWEF-SusTech, Loo Afrique, MySmartFarm and Waste Intrique.

Main report

Climate change adaption and small business – case studies

Unlocking green jobs in South Africa

The Unlocking Green Jobs: A Catalytic Intervention was a two-year collaboration between the World Wide Fund for Nature, South Africa (WWF-SA) and Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS). Published reports include a synthesis report, Unlocking green jobs in South Africa: A catalytic intervention, which summarises the findings and three three case studies. The reports were produced with the financial assistance of the WWF Nedbank Green Trust and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

Main report

Case studies

This series of four papers was commissioned by the Future Industrial Production Technologies Chief Directorate of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). This unit is focused on preparing South African industry for the fourth industrial revolution.

GEC logo 2017 resized for website.jpg  Logo European Union.jpg


The Green Economy Coalition (GEC) is the largest global alliance of organisations working on a green economy. The membership spans Asia, Africa, South America, North America and Europe and represents a wide range of interests including the poorest, the environment, business, the United Nations, research and government. Despite its diversity, the coalition is committed to accelerating the transition to green and fair economies. In South Africa, Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) and the African Centre for a Green Economy (African Centre www.africancentre.org) are active members of the coalition. The Green Economy Coalition is supported by funding and assistance from the European Union.

TIPS in partnership with the South African Research Chair in Industrial Development, based at the University of Johannesburg, and in association with the Green Economy Coalition (GEC), hosting the 2017 Annual Forum in June, 2017. It was supported by the European Union and the Department of Trade and Industry. The theme of the Forum was Industrialisation and Sustainable Growth See Summary report of the Forum below.

GEC is also supporting the production of seven reports. Draft titles of the seven reports in production are:

  • Governance for South Africa’s sustainability transition: A critical review, by Gaylor Montmasson-Clair (completed)
  • A South African Strategy for Green Trade, by Christopher Wood (completed)
  • The role of plantation forestry for promoting sustainability in South Africa, by Struan R. Robertson (completed)
  • Nature in South Africa’s transition to sustainability: A stocktake, by Shakespear Mudombi (completed)
  • Transforming South Africa’s passenger transport sector for sustainable development in South Africa, by Bhavna Deonarain and Kelello Mashiane (completed)
  • Water sustainability in South Africa: Past, present, future, by Shakespear Mudombi
  • Building an environmentally-sustainable economy in South Africa, by Gaylor Montmasson-Clair

Reports