Socio-economic footprint of the energy transition: South Africa

This report builds on the analysis presented in IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook to support energy transition planning and informed policy making in South Africa, and calls for a comprehensive policy framework that can advance the transition whilst safeguarding people, livelihoods and jobs. Over the past ten years, the Republic of South Africa’s economy has grown by approximately 1% per year, and unemployment reached 34.9% at the end of September 2021. As a result, poverty rates have risen to levels not seen for more than a decade, reversing years of progress. The impacts of climate change have exacerbated existing poverty and inequality in South Africa. Low-income households are disproportionately affected, as they are more exposed to pollution and extreme weather events, have limited access to quality public health services, and possess fewer financial resources to cope with related damage.