Energy policies for sustainable development of informal settlements upgrading in South Africa

South Africa is experiencing numerous challenges, such as low economic growth, social disparities, and poor governance (Du Plooy, 2017). The energy crisis in South Africa is not new, especially for the inhabitants of informal settlements. The poor energy supply to the residents of these settlements leads them to use other energy sources that meet some of their needs such as paraffin, coal, wood and solid waste, which lead to air pollution and serious health and environmental diseases (Winkler, et al., 2006). “For a transition of this magnitude to be successful, a holistic perspective of sustainability is required across several sectors” (Du Plooy, 2017, p. 4). This research will examine how South African policies are dealing with upgrading these settlements and how they are providing sustainable energy to the inhabitants of the informal settlements. Although research on the upgrading of informal settlements is extensive, the promotion of sustainable energy upgrading in informal settlements to alleviate the energy crisis still needs to be answered. The responsibility of governments and municipalities rely on developing clear and explicit planning to improve informal settlements and secure their basic needs while minimising the impact of settlements on the environment and work to sustainable energy transition (SET). The study contributes to discussing the possibility of reducing energy poverty, while highlighting the need to have a balance across all the society populations to achieve the concept of sustainable development. The purpose of the research is to encourage and show the right of the inhabitants of these settlements to obtain the most basic rights, according to the rights of energy in South Africa, taking into account the preservation of a clean and sustainable environment by providing what citizens need without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. This research is based on a review of the literature which has been collected from books, journals, articles, reports, previous related researches, some information from the internet (archival research) and energy polices. It depends on energy policies and laws of the state of South Africa, as well as nongovernmental organisations associated with the development of informal settlements and energy. It is expected from the research that all the responsible authorities of the inhabitants of these settlements, whether municipalities or other government sectors, consider serious and tangible upgrading of these settlements to relieve the informal settlements inhabitants from the suffering of poverty and from lack of the basics of living. Also, these authorities should reconsider their responsibilities to preserve their environment where the energy policy of South Africa aims to achieve a clean and sustainable environment by 2025 (Winkler, et al., 2006). The research attempts to understand the imbalance of not covering and extending energy for all residents and how to access sustainable energy that covers the inhabitants of informal settlements and limits extreme poverty of energy.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Sustainable Energy and Efficient Cities (SEEC), Johannesburg, September 2019
Alkhouli, Afnan. (2019). Energy policies for sustainable development of informal settlements upgrading in South Africa. University of the Witwatersrand,