Urban centres in South Africa are huge contributors to the national economy and thus represent energy intensive nodes of activity. The seventeen cities covered in the third State of Energy in South African Cities report are home to half (52%) of South Africa’s population, but occupy only 4.5% of the country’s land area. They account for over a third (37%) of national energy consumption and nearly half (46%) of national electricity consumption. They also consume half (52%) of the country’s petrol and diesel and produce approximately 70% of the country’s economic wealth.
These dense urban centres therefore have a fundamental role to play in the development of South Africa, and the city energy picture is crucial for the development and implementation of any national and local energy and climate strategies.
With a particular focus on local government, this practical guide serves to promote the development of an equitable low carbon, clean energy economy throughout Southern Africa.