UK PACT supports South Africa’s low-carbon and inclusive green growth ambition

8 Mar 2021

Ten projects awarded South Africa-UK PACT funding

The South Africa-UK Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions (South Africa-UK PACT) programme has today announced that ten projects have been awarded a total of over £3 million. These projects will support South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon, inclusive, climate-resilient economy and society. The projects span three priority sectors: energy, sustainable transport and sustainable finance.

In the energy sector, UK PACT will be contributing to a just and clean energy transition. The six selected projects will work to support the implementation of higher energy efficiency standards in buildings, the uptake of renewable energy and the development of alternative clean fuels such as hydrogen, and the design of pathways to a just energy transition. This will involve working closely with business and civil society to ensure that this transition is equitable and leads to inclusive and sustainable livelihoods.

In the sustainable finance sector, UK PACT will help drive access to green finance and the scale up of sustainable investment in South Africa through transparency and climate-related risk management.

In the sustainable transport sector, UK PACT will support the policy framework set out in South Africa’s Green Transport Strategy, and South Africa’s transition towards electric vehicles and low carbon mobility.

The awarded projects were selected through a competitive process and respond to the technical assistance and capacity building needs of national, provincial and municipal government stakeholders. The projects will be implemented by a range of local and international organisations from the private and non-governmental sector, civil society and academia. Most of the organisations leading the projects will work with partners – read the full list at the end of the announcement.

UK PACT energy sector projects:

  • The National Business Initiative (NBI) will work with the South African business community, forming a collective position on a more ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for South Africa ahead of COP26. It will also model scenarios for low carbon, climate resilient development pathways and champion a green, resilient recovery from COVID-19.
  • The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) will contribute to the national roadmap for the future hydrogen economy in South Africa. Their project will assess the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college system and help equip it to supply highly skilled graduates for the emerging green hydrogen market.
  • GreenCape will develop a Green Economy Cluster organisation (bringing together actors for green investment and green job creation) in Mpumalanga. The Cluster will create the favourable conditions needed for the most ambitious scenarios within the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan.
  • A project led by Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) will focus on the two most coal-dependent municipalities in Mpumalanga (eMalahleni and Steve Tshwete) to co-develop a coherent just transition plan that is inclusive of communities that will be affected by the transition.
  • ICLEI Africa will support under-resourced municipalities to prepare pre-feasibility studies for embedded generation projects such as solar and wind power. They will then be supported to submit these to the Development Bank of South Africa’s Embedded Generation Investment Programme (EGIP) or to private investors to attract funding.
  • An initiative under the lead of the Carbon Trust Africa will help develop a National Building Energy Performance Register (NBEPR) to support South Africa’s new mandatory energy performance certificate regulations to drive energy efficiency in buildings.

UK PACT sustainable transport projects:

  • Sustainable Energy Africa will assess and work with municipal officials to build capacity for the roll out of electrical vehicles (EV) in the city of Johannesburg, focusing on electricity grid capacity and requirements, charging infrastructure needs, and the financial resources required.
  • Nelson Mandela University will build capacity and knowledge at a national level to support the Department of Transport’s aim within the Green Transport Strategy of reaching 5% fleet conversion by 2025. The project outcomes will include guidelines and standards for electric road transport and charging infrastructure, as well as the development of green procurement guidelines to promote electric vehicle fleets.

UK PACT sustainable finance projects:

  • The National Business Initiative (NBI) will undertake critically important work to expand the country’s Green Finance Taxonomy (GFT) to a Sustainable Finance Taxonomy (SFT) and begin to embed it amongst key stakeholders. The sustainable finance taxonomy is an essential tool that will help economic actors allocate capital in a way that is more consistent with the vision for a development-focused, climate-resilient economy.
  • DNA Economics will develop a tool for companies and financial institutions to effectively consider climate-related financial risks and opportunities (CFROs) when making investment decisions. This will enable investors to factor climate risk into investment decisions and adjust investment patterns to avoid carbon locked investments and the chance of stranded assets later on.


Nigel Casey, High Commissioner to the British Embassy in South Africa said:

“As host of COP26 and a long standing development, trade and investment partner, I am delighted that we are launching this range of projects aimed at supporting green, resilient and inclusive economic growth in South Africa. The world is focusing on both climate and COVID-19 recovery and we want to support South Africa to be at the forefront of the movement to build back better.”

Read more about the new South Africa-UK PACT portfolio on our web page. Read the press release from the British High commission in South Africa here


Notes to editors

Full list of lead organisations and their partners leading the ten projects in South Africa:

Lead organisation Partners
Carbon Trust Africa Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA)
DNA Economics The Green House
WWF South Africa
6 Capitals Advisory, a division of Alternative Prosperity Advisory and Products (Pty) Ltd
Vivid Economics (Planetrics)
ICLEI Africa Rebel Group
National Business Initiative (NBI) (sustainable finance) Carbon Trust Africa
Nelson Mandela University Cenex
South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS)
Energy Research Centre, Energy Systems Team, University of Cape Town
KPMG South Africa
Bambili Energy
Sustainable Energy Africa N/A
The GreenCape Sector Development Agency N/A
Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies The National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI)
Peta Wolpe (sub-contract)
GroundWork (sub-contract)
National Business Initiative (NBI) (energy) N/A