The third Partnership for Action on the Green Economy (PAGE) Ministerial Conference was held in Cape Town in January 2019. The theme of the conference was Advancing Inclusive and Sustainable Economies. More than 500 leaders and innovators from the government, private and the civil society sectors from more than 50 countries met to discuss policy and strategy. The conference was hosted by the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa.

A number of concept papers were produced to inform the conference, including two by TIPS.

Green Economy Policies & Strategies Gaylor Montmasson-Clair (TIPS)

This concept document assesses the state of play at each level of policymaking. It conducts a diagnostic of the situation at the four levels of the policy pyramid: the vision, plans and strategies,measures and instruments, and toolkits. It also has targeted recommendations.

Inclusivity within the Green Economy - Gaylor Montmasson-Clair and Shakespear Mudombi (TIPS)

A gradular understanding of the structure and role of SMMEs in development and the green economy is needed to adequately harness their potential. This concept note aims to provide this analytical framework. It investigates the role of SMMEs in the economy and society, focuses on SMMEs within a green economy context, and considers the obstacles hindering thedevelopment of SMMEs. It then formulates the need and opportunity to reframe SMME development in alignment with sustainable development principles.

Sustainable Consumption and Production - Ntombifuthi Ntuli and Stanley Semelane (CSIR Energy Centre)

This concept note takes stock of the status quo of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) implementation, particularly in the PAGE countries. It reviews the global perspective focusing on SCP application in various segments of the economy, followed by a review of the South African perspective of SCP implementation. It then looks at global best practise and at successful strategies from developed countries.

Green Finance - By Zenizeni Sustainable Finance

An understanding of how to unlock the much-needed funding is central for green economy implementation was one of the central themes of the conference. This paper provided the context to inform the planning of the conference’s green finance sessions.

Making Britain great again! For what purpose? Implications for South Africa's future relations with the UK post-Brexit!

This paper looks at the future of South Africa-United Kingdom trade relations in the post-Brexit period. It provides a brief background and looks at the history of trade relations until the onset of democracy in1994. It then looks at SA-UK trade relations since 1994, including the negotiations the led to the Southern African Development Community-Economic Partnership Agreement.

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 Green Trade, 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
  • Water sustainability in South Africa: Past, present, future, by Shakespear Mudombi
  • Building an environmentally-sustainable economy in South Africa, by Gaylor Montmasson-Clair


The role of plantation forestry for promoting sustainability in South Africa

Nature in South Africa's transition to sustainability: A stocktake

The Green Economy Barometer 2018 South Africa

A South African strategy for trade in environmental goods

Governance for South Africa’s sustainability transition: A critical review

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

Unlocking green jobs in South Africa: A catalytic intervention - synthesis report

Case studies

Essential Amathole: A case study of unlocking green jobs in the bioprospecting sector

Protecting and unlocking jobs through water stewardship: A case study Linked to the Umbogintwini Industrial Complex, Ethekwini

Unlocking and retaining jobs in the alien vegetation added value chain through industrial symbiosis: Case study on wood pellets

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.

Framing the concepts that underpin discontinuous technological change, technological capability and absorptive capacity

This paper takes the form of a literature study on the topic of technological change, innovation and building technological capabilities.

World Economic Forum and the fourth industrial revolution in South Africa

This paper focuses on the fourth industrial revolution and the concept as promoted by the World Economic Forum, international consultancies, governments and multinational firms.

Mapping the meso space that enables technological change, productivity improvement and innovation in the manufacturing sector

This paper focuses on meso organisations and policies that strengthen the technological capability of the country or an industry to enable change, adaptation and economic resilience.

Technological change and sustainable mobility: An overview of global trends and South African developments

This paper focuses on technological change and the developments in the sustainable mobility topic in South Africa.

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

Small Business Development in the Climate Change Adaptation Space in South Africa

Climate change adaption and small business – case studies

Mogale Maleka and Tumelo Pule: Using hydrophonics to enhance food security

Bulelwa Ntsendwana: Harnessing chemistry for sustainable development and women empowerment

Rori Mpete: Thinking outside the box – retrofitting water saving in conventional waterborne sanitation systems

Wolfgang von Loeper: Sustainable farming: ensuring food security while preserving the planet

Tshego Mpete: Embracing green opportunities in the water sector

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.

Black cat, white cat – lessons to be learnt from ASEAN

Charity begins at home – the political economy of non-tariff barriers to trade in Southern Africa

Motorcycle parts and aftermarket industry regional value chain in Southern Africa

Moving up the copper value chain in Southern Africa

Trade and Industry

Department of Trade and Industry

TIPS is working on several projects with the dti and continues to support some of the department’s sector desks, including the automotive, agro-processing, chemicals, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals desks.

In the automotive sector TIPS is working on a project to support the dti with the review of the automotive incentive. The current research for the agro-processing sector includes a review of abalone, a feasibility study on cassava for industrial uses and developmental food systems. Support is ongoing with the other sector desks and comprises data support and research.

Another important project that TIPS is working on with the dti is Regional Value Chains. This follows the completion of a joint project between TIPS, CCRED at the University of Johannesburg, and CSID at the University of the Witwatersrand, with involvement from research organisations in Zambia and Zimbabwe. This research looked at three value chains: the mining capital equipment value chain in South Africa and Zambia; the soy value chain in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and the construction value chain in Mozambique and South Africa. The current project will expand the number of regional value chains that are reviewed and part of the work includes identifying possible projects for collaboration between South Africa and other countries in the region. This project will be undertaken in partnership with CCRED and, similar to the earlier project, research organisations in other African countries will form part of the team.

Industrial Development Research Programme

TIPS is providing support for the roll out of a research programme on key industrial development issues gripping the country. This project is being undertaken in partnership with the dti and the United Nations Development Programme.

Manufacturing Circle

TIPS has established a partnership with the Manufacturing Circle and provides support for its quarterly bulletin that reviews the status of the manufacturing sector. The findings of the survey are released to the public and also presented at a quarterly TIPS Development Dialogue. The bulletin provides important insights in the challenges and progress of manufacturing firms.

National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC)

Over the past few years TIPS has undertaken several research projects for NEDLAC, presented to NEDLAC Chambers as well as partnered with NEDLAC on jointly hosting a Development Dialogue. Currently TIPS is completing a research paper for NEDLAC that looks at regional industrialisation.

Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) in the Presidency

DPME has developed an approach for government departments to review proposed legislation that looks at the planned as well as unintended consequences of legislation. The approach is intended to strengthen new legislation coming out and take social and economic factors into consideration; and was adopted by Cabinet as a requirement for new legislation. TIPS has been providing support to DPME as they roll out the programme and will also assist with the development of a Community of Practice to support the effective implementation of SEIAS (socio-economic impact assessment system).

Sustainable Growth

Electricity War Room

The Electricity War Room was set up to address the electricity challenges facing the country in early 2015. In addition to the economic research that TIPS undertook for the War Room, support is being provided for a research project to assessing possible options for the electricity sector going forward.

Green Economy Project for the Department of Trade and Industry

This project involves the development and design of instruments to better understand the transition of South African industries towards a low-carbon trajectory.

City of Johannesburg Solar PV

In partnership with WWF-South Africa, TIPS is assisting the City of Johannesburg and City Power with a research project to look at the possibility of greater use of solar PV by CoJ. TIPS and WWF are conducting a regulatory, policy, technical, financial and institutional review of all possible options for CoJ and City Power to increase the role of solar PV in the municipality.

Department of Science and Technology Baseline for Green Economy Research

TIPS is finalising a pioneering project for the DST with the aim of establishing a baseline of both the public and private R&D investments in support of a green economy.

Inequality and Economic Inclusion

Economies of Regions Learning Network

TIPS provides ongoing support to the ERLN programme (