The Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) is a multi-stakeholder body established by the President of the Republic of South Africa to advise on the country’s climate change response and pathways to a low-carbon climate-resilient economy and society. 

TIPS research for the PCC included the technical report:

Technical Report No. 1: A Review of local and international policy debates (Muhammel Patel)

Five working papers that provide an evidence-based foundation for a new Framework for a Just Transition - a practical guide to ensure that South Africa’s transition to a low-emissions economy is well-managed, just, and equitable. The Framework will also build on existing just transition debates in the country, the vision set out by the National Planning Commission, and a new series of thematic and social-partner consultations that will gather a diverse range of views on what it means to achieve a just transition.

Policy primers for a South African Just Transition framework (Gaylor Montmasson-Clair)

Unemployment and sustainable livelihoods: Just Transition interventions in the face of inequality (Nokwanda Maseko)

The Just Transition in coal (Neva Makgetla)

Finance and the Just Transition (Sandy Lowitt)

Governance and the Just Transition (Neva Makgetla)

The views expressed in the papers represent those of its authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the PCC or its Commissioners. 

Funding provided by the European Climate Foundation


In 2021 TIPS embarked on a 12-month research project to contribute to a first iteration of a Just Transition Finance Roadmap. The project has approached just transition finance as a separate use of climate funds, with different challenges, metric and ambitions. Unlike mainstream just transition roadmap thinking, it adopts an action-based research approach, looking at place-based investment needs at a project level. The research aims to provide evidence of the characteristics of just transition projects in South Africa and hence their financing needs. A gap analysis is being undertaken to understand what will be required to systemically support just transition activities. The bottom-up approach aims to culminate in articulating the characteristics of a future financial ecosystem, which systemically supports mobilising appropriate, sustainable just transition finance aligned to government climate and social development policy. The roadmap suggests a short-term action agenda to begin such a journey.

TIPS received funding from the EU and GIZ through the SPIPA initiative, UK PACT, and the CDC Group to research and draft an initial Just Transition Finance Roadmap for South Africa. SPIPA is the Strategic Partnerships for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement. The CDC group is the UK government’s Development Finance Institution and is becoming British International Investment. UK PACT is the UK Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions and is a donor funded programme of the UK Government.


A Just Transition finance roadmap for South Africa: A first iteration - Sandty Lowitt (TIPS)

A just transition finance roadmap aims to articulate a new end vision for the financial ecosystem which perfectly aligns lending and investment actions to idealised government environmental and social policies which support a net zero economy. Once a final vision is articulated, the roadmap provides routes and signposts to arrive at such a destination. This first iteration of a just transition finance roadmap for South Africa, is an initial attempt to understand the nature of the challenge of just transition finance in South Africa, what a system level change to the financial eco system could look like and an action agenda for the next four years to begin moving towards such a vision

Toward a contribution to a just transition finance roadmap in South Africa - Sandy Lowitt (TIPS)

This working paper begins the process of framing a just transition narrative in the context of the South African financial system.

Views from an Emerging Market: Characteristics of South African Just Transition projects and the challenges they raise for the local and international financial eco system - Sandy Lowitt (TIPS)

This paper briefly describes the project research completed and then focuses on the financing characteristics that high just transition ambition projects exhibit.


Toward a Just Transition Finance Roadmap for South Africa Action Agenda - Sandy Lowitt (TIPS)

This policy brief focuses on the action agenda of the first iteration of a just transition finance roadmap for South Africa. The policy brief considers possible actions and activities in terms of: public finance measures, policy and regulation; financial instruments; institutions and disclosure, monitoring and evaluation. A cross-cutting theme across these areas is the need for the financial ecosystem to begin experimenting so as to learn by doing. Creating an evidence base is crucial to support forthcoming policy discussions


Understanding the demands a new financial eco system will need to meet - Sandy Lowitt (TIPS)

Roadmap progress report - presentation. 


These expert think pieces were commissioned to support and inform the broader research and thinking of the drafting of a first iteration of a contribution to a  just transition finance roadmap for South Africa. The papers form part of the UK PACT funding.

Initial framework of social indicators for investments in a Just Transition - Synergy

TIPS Just Transition Finance Roadmap Workstream: Communication, awareness & outreach - Nicole Martens (Martens Impact Advisory)

Insights for South Africa's Just transition Finance Roadmap: Nexus of project needs and financing response - Chantal Naidoo (Rabia Transitions Initiative)

Scaling the Just Transition for community-based and community-placed projects - Fumani Mthembi (Knowledge Pele)


Finance and the Just Transition - Sandy Lowitt (TIPS)

This working paper, commissioned by Presidential Climate Commission, is part of a series that will provide an evidence-based foundation for a new Framework for a Just Transition.


The Just Transition - Insights into the financial roadmap 


Financial Stakeholder Communication, Awareness and Outreach - (Nicole Martens, Martens Impact Advisory)


Press release: Financing the Just Transition puts a spotlight on financial institutions

Article: Ramaphosa to chair inter-Ministerial committee to oversee R131bn just transition offer (Terence Creamer, Engineering News 25 November 2021)

ArticleJust Transition: SA's battle for green power accreditation (Thuletho Zwane, City Press 28 November 2021)


Funding for webinar series by GIZ, EU,  and GME


The role of DFIs (Development Finance Institutions) in deploying financing to Just Transition projects


Post Event Report


Mobilising institutional investor flows to finance Just Transition activities


Post Event Report


The challenges facing commercial and investment banks in funding a Just Transition


Post Event Report

This project for the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition involved a study on the alignment of the quality infrastructure/ technical infrastructure in South Africa. It included four case studies on the quality infrastructure (QI) in other countries: Australia, Brazil, Kenya and the Republic of Korea.

Quality Infrastructure in Australia

Quality Infrastructure in Brazil

Quality Infrastructure in Kenya

Quality infrastructure in the Republic of Korea


As South Africa responds to COVID-19 and aims to stimulate the economy and job creation post lockdown, an opportunity should not be missed to consider investing in new product markets which could increase the size and dynamism of the manufacturing sector. Such a package could contribute to arresting the current trend of deindustrialisation and shift the trajectory of the industrial base into new, sustainable growth areas and value chains. This would result in new factories, new downstream demand for primary and intermediate inputs, new export products, increased foreign exchange earnings, and importantly new direct and indirect long-term jobs.

Using the idea of “business unusual” TIPS economists put together a Post COVID-19 recovery programme in South Africa that could provide the impetus to arrest the current trend of deindustrialisation and herald in the beginning of a new generation of industrial activity. The study comprises a main consolidated report and the seven initial projects that have been identified. 

Main consolidated report: Industrial development projects

Project one: Borehole drilling rigs

This project looks at the production of 100% local content borehole drilling rigs specifically engineered for small and medium enterprise drillers to service increased investment in groundwater access in South Africa and the African export market.

Project two: Industrial hemp

This project looks at commercial scale cultivation and production of de-hulled (possibly organic) hemp seeds for human consumption for the export market.

Project three: Polylactic acid (bioplastics)

This project looks at supporting the sugar industry through the domestic production of polylactic acid for export and downstream domestic value addition.

Project four: Containerised short sea shipping service

This project looks at creating a short sea shipping service to increase containerise intra-regional trade between South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and their hinterlands.

Project five: Alternative fuel

This project looks at establishing a co-processing facility at a cement plant as a means to catalyse a broader waste beneficiation industry in South Africa.

Project six: Furfural and furfuryl alcohol plant (biochemicals) 

This project looks at the commercial scale production of furfural and furfural alcohol from sugarcane bagasse for the local foundry industry and broader export market.

Project seven: Motocycle components

This project looks the production of Class A motorcycle components (only) for export to the African assembly and after-sales markets.

Opportunities to develop the lithium-ion battery value chain in South Africa

The world of mobility is rapidly changing. The market for electric vehicle (EVs), in all their forms, is growing exponentially. Combined with technological disruptions in the energy space, the rise of EVs puts battery technologies at the core of sustainable development. Multiple technologies and chemistries, with their respective advantages and shortcomings, are competing in a market currently dominated by lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). Both South Africa’s government and industry have indicated their intention to position the local value chain as a key player in the mobility of the future. This is critical to ensure a just transition to e-mobility which would notably preserve, if not increase, job creation. Indeed, South Africa hosts a vibrant automotive manufacturing value chain. Like in the rest of the world, the domestic industry, however, produces internal combustion engine vehicles and components.

This research project explores the opportunities for South Africa to have a role in the LIB value chain. The main report and policy brief were prepared by TIPS on behalf of the Low Carbon Transport - South Africa (LCT-SA) Project. The project was initiated and funded by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). The TIPS team are: Gaylor Montmasson-Clair, Lesego Moshikaro and Lerato Monaisa. It was overseen by a Steering Committee comprised of Ashanti Mogosetsi (UNIDO), Marie Blanche Ting (UNIDO), Gerhard Fourie (Department of Trade, Industry and Competition – the dtic), Hiten Parmar (uYilo), Jenitha Badul (Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries – DEFF), Shahkira Parker (DEFF), Bopang Khutsoane (Department of Transport – DoT), Marleen Goudkamp (DoT), Minnesh Bipath (South African National Energy Development Institute – SANEDI), and Tebogo Snyer (SANEDI). Phillip Ninela (the dtic), Umeesha Naidoo (the dtic), and Mandisa Nkosi (UNIDO) acted as an internal technical task team.

Download Main Report or read report online

Download Policy Brief or read policy brief online


Press release: Lithium-ion batteries offer an electrifying opportunity for South Africa


Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), an economic policy research institute based in Pretoria, is conducting research with the Green Economy Coalition ( aimed at better understanding the challenges faced by South Africa’s local green/social entrepreneurs.
TIPS is inviting all Green and Social Entrepreneurs/Small Businesses in South Africa to participate in an online survey. The information obtained will contribute to improving the understanding of the types of challenges faced by small businesses (particularly in terms of financial inclusion). It will help formulate policy recommendations in line with entrepreneurs’ needs.
If you identify yourself as a Green or Social Entrepreneur/Small Business, we would really value your insight. Click here to access the online survey link or copy and paste the link into your preferred Internet browser: You are also welcome to share the survey link with other entrepreneurs in your network. Subsequent dialogues and policy work will be informed by the outcomes of the survey. Participants will be invited to participate in the research feedback sessions.
The survey will close on 10 February 2021. Should you have any difficulties (such as Internet access or language) in filling in the survey, you are welcome to contact us for assistance at or

Media release: Promoting green entrepreneurship - what are the stumbling blocks?

TIPS and GEC logos

The National Climate Change Response White Paper requires the development of Sector Jobs Resilience Plans (SJRPs). These plans aim to protect vulnerable groups that may lose their jobs or livelihoods as a result of climate change impacts, related either to physical effects or to the transition to alternatives.The proposals for the SJRPs, and the evidence supporting them, are presented as a suite of related documents. These are a main report:  National Employment Vulnerability Assessment: Analysis of potential climate-change related impacts and vulnerable groups; the SJRP Toolbox: Summary for policy makers; and proposals for five value chains that seem particularly likely to be affected: coal, metals, petroleum-based transport, agriculture and tourism.

National Employment Vulnerability Assessment: Analysis of potential climate-change related impacts and vulnerable groups

The SJRP Toolbox: Summary for policy makers

Sector Jobs Resilience Plan: Coal value chain

Sector Jobs Resilience Plan: Metals value chain

Sector Jobs Resilience Plan: Petroleum-based transport value chain

Sector Jobs Resilience Plan: Agriculture value chain

Sector Jobs Resilience Plan: Tourism value chain

The research for this project was conducted by Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) for the Departments of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries and Trade Industry, and funded by GIZ.

TIPS research team: Neva Makgetla, Nokwanda Maseko, Gaylor Montmasson-Clair and Muhammed Patel.

This research project for the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition examines the vulnerability of South African trade to evolving climate change legislation. It aims to shed light on the trade-related risks faced by South Africa as a result of the global transition to a low-carbon economy. From a trade and industrial perspective, this transition has implications on the composition and dynamics of entire value chains. This concerns what inputs are accessed, the processes that underlie production, what goods and services are produced, as well as what happens to these products post-consumption. The research is available in a number of related documents.  A main report on The global climate change regime and its impacts on South Africa's trade and competitiveness: case studies on various sectors; detailed briefs that explore South Africa’s trade risks with different countries; and key data in Excel format. 

Main report

The global climate change regime and its impacts on South Africa's trade and competitiveness

Sector studies

Managing economic risks linked to climate change: Securing market access for South African wines

Green hydrogen: A potential export commodity in a new global marketplace

Country briefs

Climate change and trade risk: South Africa's trade with China

Climate change and trade risk: South Africa's trade with India

Climate change and trade risk: South Africa's trade with Japan

Climate change and trade risk: South Africa's trade with Russia

Climate change and trade risk: South Africa's trade with South Korea

Climate change and trade risk: South Africa's trade with the European Union

Climate change and trade risk: South Africa's trade with the United States of America

Climate change policy framework: key data (Excel spreadsheet)

South Africa: Climate change policy framework

China: Climate change policy framework

India: Climate change policy framework

Japan: Climate change policy framework

Russia: Climate change policy framework

South Korea: Climate change policy framework

European Union: Climate change policy framework

United States of America: Climate change policy famework


Press release: Green hydrogen - potential news export for South Africa

Engineering News 23 February 2021: TIPS research confirms business case for developing hydrogen economy


COVID-19 is having a massive disruptive effect on the local and global economy. Since the start of the outbreak, TIPS has prepared and commissioned a number of research reports and policy briefs on the economic impact of the pandemic, and is now producing a weekly Tracker on the economy and the pandemic. TIPS has also held seminars and participated in several panel discussions on the economic impact of COVID-19.

TIPS Tracker: The economy and the pandemic

Policy Briefs

Working papers

Media articles

These working papers are part of workstream 6 on Regional Growth and Development within the Southern Africa – Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED) project, a three-year partnership between UNU-WIDER and the South African government aimed at improving understanding of regional value chains and supporting industrialisation in the SADC region. In year one of the project TIPS produced five papers: lessons from ASEAN; an analysis of local content requirements as a non-tariff barrier; and reviews of three value chains: agro-processing machinery, motorcycle parts and the aftermarket industry, and capital equipment for copper processing.

Climate change will have drastic impacts on South Africa’s economy and society, and the need to adapt is urgent. As the country embarks on a just transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally-sustainable economy, an opportunity exists to develop domestic small, green businesses.

This report and five case studies are part of a broader initiative on small business development in South Africa’s climate change space, by TIPS with support and funding from the Government of Flanders. The research comprises a main report, which summarises the research findings on the topic, and five case studies on South African-based entrepreneurs active in the adaptation space: AB Farms, EWEF-SusTech, Loo Afrique, MySmartFarm and Waste Intrique.

Main report

Climate change adaption and small business – case studies

Unlocking green jobs in South Africa

The Unlocking Green Jobs: A Catalytic Intervention was a two-year collaboration between the World Wide Fund for Nature, South Africa (WWF-SA) and Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS). Published reports include a synthesis report, Unlocking green jobs in South Africa: A catalytic intervention, which summarises the findings and three three case studies. The reports were produced with the financial assistance of the WWF Nedbank Green Trust and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

Main report

Case studies

This series of four papers was commissioned by the Future Industrial Production Technologies Chief Directorate of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). This unit is focused on preparing South African industry for the fourth industrial revolution.

GEC logo 2017 resized for website.jpg  Logo European Union.jpg

The Green Economy Coalition (GEC) is the largest global alliance of organisations working on a green economy. The membership spans Asia, Africa, South America, North America and Europe and represents a wide range of interests including the poorest, the environment, business, the United Nations, research and government. Despite its diversity, the coalition is committed to accelerating the transition to green and fair economies. In South Africa, Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) and the African Centre for a Green Economy (African Centre are active members of the coalition. The Green Economy Coalition is supported by funding and assistance from the European Union.

TIPS in partnership with the South African Research Chair in Industrial Development, based at the University of Johannesburg, and in association with the Green Economy Coalition (GEC), hosting the 2017 Annual Forum in June, 2017. It was supported by the European Union and the Department of Trade and Industry. The theme of the Forum was Industrialisation and Sustainable Growth See Summary report of the Forum below.

GEC is also supporting the production of seven reports. Draft titles of the seven reports in production are:

  • Governance for South Africa’s sustainability transition: A critical review, by Gaylor Montmasson-Clair (completed)
  • A South African Strategy for trade in environmental goods, by Christopher Wood (completed)
  • The role of plantation forestry for promoting sustainability in South Africa, by Struan R. Robertson (completed)
  • Nature in South Africa’s transition to sustainability: A stocktake, by Shakespear Mudombi (completed)
  • Transforming South Africa’s passenger transport sector for sustainable development in South Africa, by Bhavna Deonarain and Kelello Mashiane (completed)
  • Water and sanitation in South Africa: Past, present, and future, by Shakespear Mudombi (completed)
  • Building an environmentally-sustainable economy in South Africa, by Gaylor Montmasson-Clair