Exploring South Africa’s Renewable Energy Programme and its Potential Role in Khutsong Township Economic Development

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University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg
The South African government has initiated the REI4P, a pioneering large-scale renewable energy competitive tender aimed at diversifying power generation through private sector involvement. This procurement strategy addresses the national service delivery of electricity insecurity by promoting alternative renewable sources. However, a notable gap exists in the planning and implementation systems of the REI4P, lacking a clear framework for integrating informal township-based SMMEs into the emerging renewable energy landscape. This study investigates how Merafong City can leverage the REI4P as a catalyst for LED to concurrently facilitate the seamless integration of Khutsong Township-based SMMEs. The research affirms the existence of regulatory frameworks that MCLM can leverage the REI4P into an LED initiative. Furthermore, it identifies the MCLM’s potential to transform into a Local Renewable Energy Development Zone, offering a strategic solution to challenges linked with the impact of electricity insecurity in Khutsong SMMEs business operations. Addressing these challenges is crucial for alleviating poverty, reducing unemployment, and mitigating social issues such as crime and drug abuse in the township. Despite these potential benefits, the study highlights barriers to successful implementation, particularly the absence of a clear framework for integrating informal township-based SMMEs into the renewable energy landscape. Additionally, challenges in MCLM audit performance pose substantial obstacles to both renewable energy integration and the development of Khutsong SMMEs and LED. This research demonstrates the need for comprehensive strategies to address these barriers and maximise the positive impact of the REI4P on both economic development and social well- being in Merafong City
This research was submitted to the faculty of Commerce, Law, and Management, University of Witwatersrand School of Governance, in fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Management in Public Policy Degree
Renewable Energy Independent Power Procurement Producers Programme, Merafong City Local Municipality;, Thutsong Township Economic and Skills Development, Local Economic Development