Green Jobs: An Estimate of Direct Employment Potential of a Greening South African Economy

  • Year: 2011

Official project name: Green Jobs - An estimate of direct employment potential of a greening South African economy

Client: Industrial Development Corporation, Development Bank of Southern Africa and TIPS

Funder: Industrial Development Corporation, Development Bank of Southern Africa and TIPS

Duration: 2011


TIPS, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) contributed to a groundbreaking report that estimated the direct job opportunities from a greening economy in South Africa.

The joint report, launched in December 2011, estimated the employment potential in the formal sector of the green economy in South Africa to be about 98 000 new direct jobs in the short term (2011-2012), almost 255 000 in the medium term (2013-2017) and around 462 0000 employment opportunities or part-time jobs in the long term (2018-2025).

Manufacturing and construction jobs each comprise about 10% (46 000) of the total number of jobs, with most associated with operation and maintenance (O&M) services. In total, 26 industries were covered including sectors such as energy generation, energy and resource efficiency, emission and pollution mitigation, and natural resource management. In the long term, almost 50% of this job creation potential stems from natural resource management, activities associated with biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration, as well as soil and land management. Payment for ecosystem services could also generate substantial employment opportunities.

Energy generation comes second with more than 130 000 employment opportunities (28% of the total), growing rapidly from 13 500 (14%) in the short term. Job creation in energy and resource efficiency is expected to double from 31 500 in the short term to 68 000 in the long term, accounting for under 15% of the total. The potential of emission and pollution mitigation is more limited. The sector should still result in about 32 000 jobs in the long run.

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