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A Developmental Green Economy for Gauteng Professor Mark Swilling, Sustainability Institute School of Public Management and Planning Stellenbosch University South Africa. Material Flows – the missing factor. Behrens, 2007. resource decoupling. economic activity (GDP). impact decoupling.

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A Developmental Green Economy for Gauteng

Professor Mark Swilling, Sustainability Institute

School of Public Management and Planning

Stellenbosch University

South Africa

decoupling resource impact

resource decoupling

economic activity (GDP)

impact decoupling

resource use

environmental impacts


Decoupling: resource & impact
decoupling relative absolute

relative decoupling

economic activity (GDP)

absolute decoupling

resource use


resource use

Decoupling: relative & absolute

Green Economy = Materials: 6t/c

CO2: 2.2 t/cap


Materials: 8t/c

CO2: 4.5 t/cap

green economy
Green Economy

“There can be little doubt that the economy of the 21st century will be low-carbon. What has become clear is that the push toward decarbonisation will be one of the major drivers of global and national economic growth over the next decade. And the economies that embrace the green revolution earliest will reap the greatest economic rewards.” – PM Gordon Brown, Newsweek, 28 September 2009


“As leaders of the world’s major economies, we are working for a resilient, sustainable and green economy.” – G20 Pittsburgh 24-25 Sept 2009

"We have an opportunity over the decade ahead to shift the structure of our economy towards greater energy efficiency, and more responsible use of our natural resources and relevant resource-based knowledge and expertise. Our economic growth over the next decade and beyond cannot be built on the same principles and technologies, the same energy systems and the same transport modes, that we are familiar with today." - South African Finance Minister Trevor Manual, Budget speech, Parliament February 20th, 2008

recent south african policy initiatives
Recent South African policy initiatives

Long-Term Mitigation Scenarios/Copenhagen Commitments

National Framework for Sustainable Development (towards NSSD)

Renewable Energy White Paper

Green Economy Strategy (‘green jobs’)

Industrial Policy Action Plan

National Water Resource Strategy

Carbon Taxes

gauteng s sustainability challenges
Gauteng’s Sustainability Challenges

Food security

Energy security

Water supply/quality & sanitation

Solid waste


Settlement patterns

Poverty & inequality

Resource & energy intensive economy

core logic
Core logic

Sustainability challenges will undermine growth & job creation

Money will need to be spent on solutions anyway, but according to what paradigm?

Hence: green economy approach about growth & jobs via investments that address resource constraints using sustainable technologies


Current agricultural employment: 30 000 jobs

  • Using available land conventionally: additional 28 000 jobs
  • Combining urban agriculture & available land via
  • a network of small farms: over 400 000 jobs
  • Key drivers: land reform + support + innovation
  • Key resource constraint: water
energy solar hot water
Energy: Solar Hot Water

95% of high/mid income HH – 1,2 m

50% of low income HH – 666 000

Current use: less than 0.1%, reliant on Chinese imports

Removes 50%-60% of energy required by HH

Generates carbon credits

Industry poised to expand, labour intensive

Could generate 6700 jobs, large-scale investments

Subsidy required for low-income HHs

Incentives/regulations to convert mid/high income HHs

energy efficiency
Energy Efficiency

Key concept: ‘nega-watt’ – costs less to use less than to produce more

Proposed target: 15% of total energy use

Investment: R7.5 billion pa, 10400 jobs

Provincial budget: R10 pa

Sectors: industrial, commercial, transport, residential

Key sector leader: public buildings

energy csp
Energy: CSP

Key concept: costs of RE coming down, costs of fossil fuels going up (incl C taxes)

CSP is best option: medium-tech/cost/local production/job intensive

Target: 16% of total energy mix/1413 GW

Result: ave price of electricity comes down

R90 billion of new investment

REFIT pays R2.10, Euros 40 million

1000 permanent jobs, 4000 construction jobs /a

CSP plants in other Provinces, Gauteng as epic-centre

water sanitation
Water & Sanitation

98% of SA’s water allocated, crisis ahead

Gauteng needs to grow by reducing by 15%

Water gets pumped up to Gauteng, flows down polluted – other Provinces pay the price

Massive water losses

WWTWs overloaded, mismanaged

No bulk water supply planning beyond 2013

Split responsibilities

Gauteng to lead strategic planning initiative in partnership with Municipalities & Regional Units

zero waste
Zero Waste

Key concept: all outputs can be inputs

Current: 5.7 m/t, growing to 6.5 m/t by 2020

Landfill costs double every 4 years

Waste stream: 40% non-recyclable, 15% organics, 25% recyclables, 19% building rubble

Waste to landfill can be reduced by 60% creating 19 400 jobs

Separation at source, informal jobs, new industries that access reclaimed materials


Key concept: switch from private car use to mass transit on scale

93% of all oil (petrol/diesel) used by private vehicles – 6.5 m litres/day – imported - outward flows of cash

Shift from 5.4l/p/100Km (car) to 1.1 (taxi)/1.4 (bus)

15% saving of fuel means 1.1 m people switch to using the BRT

2400 BRT busses, 7200 jobs

Subsidy: R340 m – less than other costs

what does bau mean
What does BAU mean?

Jobless growth - reliance on mature industries

Limited opportunities for innovation – but innovation is the key to growth

Resource constraints undermine future growth costing more to fix later

Gauteng as a dirty industry/extractive industry node, dual labour market, locked into the global economy

ge is linkages
GE - IS linkages

GE mainly about the platform (infrastructure /support systems)

IS mainly about economic activities that assume the platform

Medium-tech light manufacturing - less energy & resource intensive √

Localisation focus – food, transport, basic consumer goods √

recycled materials as inputs for feeder industries – more needed

IS wont work without the GE

role of ded
Role of DED

Facilitator – connecting stakeholders

Enabler – internal alignment within Govt

Investor – mainly in innovation, both technical & capabilities

Gauteng as a ‘green economic region’ repositions it globally, stimulates innovation, generates new investments, creates platform of industrial strategy