Green Economy in South Africa

Green Economy in South Africa


            The green economy is a great matter or subject especially in the country like South Africa for the sustainable economic growth while removing environmental threats or risks along with dealing efficiently with scarce ecological resources. The agriculture is the dominant sector where green economy policies according to national actions programs are implemented. The use of fresh water, bio-fuels are used while increasing labor force are employed but South Africa still needs to work on subsistence at the small level. Here we are trying to find the current situation of South Africa with the Consideration to a green economy. Alternative energy emission resources, infrastructure transitions and transportation method must need to adapt to a green economy.

Green Economy

            The paper on the exploration of the connection between the green economy and informal economy by Musango & Smith (2015) defines green economy as “the study of economics in which the risks present in the natural environment are meant to reduce.” The scarce resources of the ecology would be managed, and the development of the economy is maintained through sustainable tactics while not disturbing any major element of the environment. The green economy in context to the developing country like South Africa refers to the development of the economy in a sustainable approach while reducing the level of poverty especially highlighting the role of informal economy for its progressive planning. The informal channels include the informal markets, sector, employment, workers, and informal links integrating to the principles of livelihood. The challenges are addressed in the process, active participation of people to play an important part in the total inclusive dimension of the green or ecological economy in South Africa (Musango & Smit, 2015).

Acey & Culhane (2013), explains the “units of economic action plans that are taken into practice are not taken into accounts as formal economic project arrangements. Thus activities are not the part of the law and remain beyond the regulations of formal arranging patterns of the informal economy.” The innovation plan for the informal economy, integration with international economic sources, a framework for the strategic planning, resource development, developing skills of local citizens and responsibilities towards change in the climate are included and considered (Acey & Culhane, 2013).

Bio prospecting is considered as an important element in the implementation of the green economy in South Africa as well as trade regarding the biological applications is done in this category (Olsen, 2012). The action plan regarding the industrial research planning is implemented in which the footprint of the environmental actions, the consumption of the energy level in the manufacturing process is kept at a very low range (Buehn & Schneider, 2012).

Looking at Davies & Thurlow (2010) the benefits regarding the health concerns for the sustainable development of the corporation enterprises are being implemented under the green economy in South Africa. The recycling process including the efficient management of picking the waste is recognized. The water recycling is contributing in a maximum way to the green economy especially as per the informal economy regarding the active participation from the SME (Davies & Thurlow, 2010).

Dreher & Schneider (2010) explains the actions in the field of farming are also being implemented on a very low scale to deal effectively by using the principles of green economy with the climatic change issues. The farmers must provide adequate education in this regard such as strategies for farming, water usage, harvesting as per the best practices in the agricultural sector, rotations of the diverse crops especially in the food crops through adopting national policies or plan for the green economy (Dreher & Schneider, 2010).

According to Musango (2014), the transitioning of the South African economy towards green economy explains, “The ecological development in the economy is highly correlated with the political policies, which is presented under the frameworks of the global body such as UNEP”. The fair, as well as efficient means of resources, must apply to the green economy to attain the beneficial results. This means that equity regarding the regional dimensions of the ecological economy must be the foremost preference, in which the transition of the economy would be based on the high level of environment protected economic policies (Musango, 2014).

            These transition in the environment based economy policies include infrastructure or development programs running with no or very low proportion of carbon; the resources must also integrate efficiently with the green economy. The green economy must be inclusive while taking together with a consensus of each party in a community for better management of corporate social responsibility (Du & Neves, 2012). As explained by Musango (2014) “There is a great role of natural capital as well as of services in the ecological or green economy to raise the economic growth in the country, especially in South Africa.” The accounting costs must be determined through using the principles of the biodiversity conceptual applications and the bank of the natural resources as per the capital (Musango, 2014).

            Three major elements are comprised of the green economy, which is social, economy and the environment. Through these three factors, the green economy becomes sustainable, viable for the green technology, and equitable for the buildings, transport, and water or other natural or no natural resources (Horn, 2011).

African People and Green Economy

            According to Mohamed & Maitho (2014), the dominant sector where the green economy is practically implemented is in the agricultural sector. “The freshwater conservation is mostly the most important initiative as per the environment sustainability.” The Green Fund is used to support the transition of the South African economy to the green economy. These funds are used to provide support for the initiatives towards a green economy, and for the promotion of this transition. Protection of the climatic change in the ecological economy in the farming sector is efficiently implemented while managing the cost. The social development and the economic improvements in the agricultural sector in South Africa have been achieved under the green economy. Because of the diminishing reserves of the fossil fuels, the demand for the consumption of energy has been lowered (Mohamed & Maitho, 2014)

            According to Ligthelm (2006), Agriculture is the major contributor to the GDP of the economy as per the employment force, therefore, “the sustainable growth is an essential matter for the livelihood while reducing poverty, and contributing to the sustainable environment for the climate change is done in South Africa.” The industrial sector green economy principles as per the growth or sustainable development of the ecological economy are embraced through national plans or policies for environment stable economy. Subsidies are granted for the use of alternatives to energy fuels that heavily cause emissions in the environment, such as some biotechnology applications are instructed in the form of bio-fuel, the solar energy programs have also been started efficiently by the South African economy (Ligthelm, 2006).

            Nortje (2015) Explains the transportation, as well as the infrastructure, is also being targeted for implementing the green economy policies in South Africa. The use of electric cars, batteries deployed in vehicles, modifying the transportation sources for public and emergence of the awareness for walking or using bicycles are some major steps that are being used explicitly. The buildings are constructed by using low carbon materials and less emission energy resources for the infrastructure in the South Africa (Nortje, 2015).

Steps Required to Implement Green Economy

            Olsen (2012), the green economy is used in South Africa in both informal as well as formal national economic policies. The paper highlights the practical implications of the opportunities in the South African economy regarding diversification in the ecological economy in the energy mix applications creating a high probability for additional jobs, CO2eq management, through green economy along with the removal of the dangerous emissions. All these initiatives of the ecological economy in South Africa are implemented to give the environment a sustainable look (Olsen, 2012).

Impact of Green Economy

            As per the published paper of Nortje (2015), states that in South Africa, the green economy has a very positive impact on the sustainable growth of the economy through the protection of the environment, protection of social, economic concerns and the maintenance of the ecosystem through the natural means of resources. The best practices initiatives, the flexible ecological programs and relevant information or knowledge in the sector of the green economy is a major impact. The efficiency in the resources, the environment protection policies of using low carbon and the growth path using the approach of the pre-employment in South Africa while transition must occur in the overall economy approach of informal as well as formal sectors are major steps taken in this regard (Nortje, 2015).

            For becoming the nation that is independent, prospering through the sustainable economic growth accomplishment, using the fundamental dimension of the management of the scarcity of the ecological resources, for a country like South Africa, the green economy can make a gate through (Nortje, 2015). The dynamic behavior models are the most important tool for a transition to the power-based economy to ecologically based economy. Moreover, it has a great deal of impact regarding the reduction of threats to the environment. The transition towards the green economy would influence in a great way to finance resources of the South Africa, the initiative of programs for the employment would create jobs, and contribute to the sustainable development as well as the growth of the economy (Samers, 2005).

According to the paper published on the indicators of sustainable business practices in South Africa by Santos, Svensson, & Padin (2013), shows the relative reduction in consumption of energy and water items from the benchmark, and increased work in the field of sustainable business practices (Santos, Svensson, & Padin, 2013). Similarly, the paper on corporate social responsibility in South Africa by Skinner (2008), focuses on the emerging practices in this context and their impact on the South African economy (Skinner & Mersham, 2008).


            In the end, it is concluded that green economy must be a part of the economic policies and programs in South Africa for the sustainable growth of the environment-protected economy. We have seen that how the economies are going towards the green economy. The policies and the regulations need to be focused on the green economy for the betterment. The agricultural sector must focus on the biotechnology use to update the sector, the national policies for the green economy is an essential requirement for the South Africa. The last thing is that the ecosystem must be maintained using the natural means of resources as much as possible.


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Davies, R., & Thurlow, J. (2010). Formal–informal economy linkages and unemployment in South Africa. South. Afr. J. Econ , 78 (4), 437–458.

Dreher, A., & Schneider, F. (2010.). Corruption and the shadow economy: an empirical analysis. Public Choice , 144, 215–238.

Du, A., & Neves, D. (2012). Money and sociality in South Africa’s informal economy. Africa , 82 (1), 131.

Horn, A. (2011). Who’s out there? A profile of informal traders in four South African city central business districts. Town Reg. Plann. , 59, 1-6.

Ligthelm, A. (2006). . Size estimate of the informal sector in South Africa. S. Afr. Bus. Rev. , 10 (2), 32-52.

Mohamed, N., & Maitho, E. (2014). The Green Fund of South Africa: Origins, establishment and first lessons. Development Southern Africa , 31 (5), 658–674.

Musango. (2014). Green economy transitioning of the South African power sector: A system dynamics analysis approach. Development Southern Africa, , 31 (5), 744–758.

Musango, J. K., & Smit, S. (2015). Exploring the connections between green economy and informal economy in South Africa. Towards an inclusive green economy for South Africa , 111 (12), 10.

Nortje, K. (2015). Imperatives for an agricultural green economy in South Africa. Agricultural green economy in South Africa , 111 (1), 8.

Olsen, L. .. (2012). What policies for a green economy that works for social progress? Int J. Lab. Res. , 4 (2), 135–149.

Samers, M. (2005.). The myopia of “diverse economies”, or a critique of the “informal economy”. Antipode , 37 (5), 875–886.

Santos, M. A., Svensson, G., & Padin, C. (2013). Indicators of sustainable business practices: Woolworths in South Africa. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal , 18 (1), 104-108.

Skinner, C., & Mersham, G. (2008). Corporate social responsibility in South Africa: emerging trends. Society and Business Review , 3 (3), 239-255.

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