South Africa

Since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic in early 2020, South Africa has committed at least USD 637.41 million to supporting different energy types through new or amended policies, according to official government sources and other publicly available information. These public money commitments include:

  • At least USD 637.41 million for unconditional fossil fuels through 7 policies (1 quantified and 6 unquantified)
  • No public money commitments identified for conditional fossil fuels
  • Some public money committed for unconditional clean energy (4 policies with the value of public money unquantified)
  • Some public money committed for conditional clean energy (3 policies with the value of public money unquantified)
  • Some public money committed for other energy (8 policies with the value of public money unquantified)

By energy type, South Africa committed at least USD 637.41 million to oil and gas (at least USD 637.41 million to unconditional oil and gas).

In addition, some public money committed for coal (1 policy with the value of public money unquantified).

Further, no public money commitments identified for hydrogen based on fossil fuels.

Finally, some public money committed for multiple fossil fuels (1 policy with the value of public money unquantified).

A considerably larger amount of public money committed to supporting the economy and people of South Africa through monetary and fiscal policies in response to the crisis may also benefit different elements of the energy sector. However, these values are not available from official legislation and statements and therefore are not included in the database. Meanwhile, in addition to monetary and fiscal measures, the database lists other policies and regulations that can also provide benefits to producers and consumers of different energy types.

These public money commitments are additional to many other government policies that had existed to support different energy types before the COVID19 pandemic.

Updated: 7 April 2021


At least

$637.41 million

Supporting fossil fuel energy

$10.88

Per capita



At least

$0

Supporting clean energy

$0.00

Per capita

South Africa

Since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic in early 2020, South Africa has committed at least USD 637.41 million to supporting different energy types through new or amended policies, according to official government sources and other publicly available information. These public money commitments include:

  • At least USD 637.41 million for unconditional fossil fuels through 7 policies (1 quantified and 6 unquantified)
  • No public money commitments identified for conditional fossil fuels
  • Some public money committed for unconditional clean energy (4 policies with the value of public money unquantified)
  • Some public money committed for conditional clean energy (3 policies with the value of public money unquantified)
  • Some public money committed for other energy (8 policies with the value of public money unquantified)

By energy type, South Africa committed at least USD 637.41 million to oil and gas (at least USD 637.41 million to unconditional oil and gas).

In addition, some public money committed for coal (1 policy with the value of public money unquantified).

Further, no public money commitments identified for hydrogen based on fossil fuels.

Finally, some public money committed for multiple fossil fuels (1 policy with the value of public money unquantified).

A considerably larger amount of public money committed to supporting the economy and people of South Africa through monetary and fiscal policies in response to the crisis may also benefit different elements of the energy sector. However, these values are not available from official legislation and statements and therefore are not included in the database. Meanwhile, in addition to monetary and fiscal measures, the database lists other policies and regulations that can also provide benefits to producers and consumers of different energy types.

These public money commitments are additional to many other government policies that had existed to support different energy types before the COVID19 pandemic.

Public money commitments to fossil fuels, clean and other energy in recovery packages, USD billion, as of 7 April 2021

Country Jurisdiction Category Policy name Sector Energy Type Mechanism Value committed, USD Date of announcement Policy type Stage Legislation and Endorsing Agency Arm of Government Primary and secondary stated objective of the policy Date of entry into force Implemented repeal date, if any Value as stated (specify currency) Value committed, national currency Value disbursed, national currency Value disbursed, USD: Policy background Links to official sources Links to additional sources
South Africa National Clean unconditional Eight preferred bidders selected for the 2 000-MW Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procure... Power generation Multiple renewable Uncategorized 2021031818/03/2021 Other Electricity generation Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Government To scale up renewables 18/03/2021 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe released the names of the eight preferred bidders selected as part of government’s 2 000-MW ‘emergency’ procurement programme and also launched the much-anticipated fifth bid window (BW5) for the procurement of new wind and solar. However, he resisted growing calls for a raising of the licence-exemption threshold for distributed projects at mines, smelters, factories and farms from 1 MW to 50 MW, indicating instead that the cap would be increased to only 10 MW. This despite arguments that a liberalisation of South Africa’s convoluted licensing regime was the cheapest and quickest way to unlock at least 5 000 MW of new capacity within five years.

https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/mantashe-offers-electricity-procurement-update-2021-03-18

https://egis.environment.gov.za/
South Africa National Fossil unconditional Powership-heavy ‘emergency’ projects are unveiled Power generation Gas and gas products Uncategorized 2021031818/03/2021 Other Electricity generation Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Government To increase electricity supply 18/03/2021 At the moment, three further powership projects, with a combined capacity of 150 MW, are still be awarded under the RMIPPPP at a later stage, subject to a value-for-money re-assessment. The exact capacity of each project, along with the tariffs bid, were not immediately provided, with the Minister indicating only that their combined capacity was 1 845 MW and that the tariffs bid ranged from R1 468/MWh to R1 885/MWh. The projects are expected to have a combined investment value of R45-billion. IPP Office CEO Bernard Magoro reported that the three powerships had a combined capacity of 1 220 MW and would generate electricity using liquefied natural gas (LNG).

https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/mantashe-offers-electricity-procurement-update-2021-03-18
South Africa National Other energy Environment, Forestry and Fisheries gazettes geographical areas for development of renewable energy Power generation Multiple energy types Uncategorized 2021031010/03/2021 Other Electricity generation Ministry of Environment Government To scale up both renewables and gas 10/03/2021 The geographical zones identified as important for the expansion of South Africa’s energy mix have been published for implementation. The Notices are part of the the alignment of regulations required for the effective implementation of national environmental management legislation in terms of the One Environmental System. They will also contribute to the expansion of the country’s alternate energy mix as the country works towards a reduction in the reliance on coal for energy. The publication in the government gazette of the development corridors for strategic gas transmission pipeline infrastructure, and large scale wind and solar photovoltaic energy facilities follows an extended public consultation period on the proposed Renewable Energy Development Zones and improved Environmental Impact Assessment processes in 2020. Amendments to the procedures to apply for, and for decisions on, Environmental Authorisations (EA) for the development of alternative energy initiatives in what is known as the Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZ) have also been published for implementation. The EA process has been shortened to allow for a smoother implementation of alternate energy growth in South Africa. It is also because the proactive site sensitivity work has been completed through two two-and-a-half year Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) processes. These determined the environmental sensitivity of each of the zones and corridors. Renewable energy developments within identified zones in South Africa will require an environmental authorisation.

https://www.gov.za/speeches/environment-gazettes-geographical-areas-development-renewable-energy-10-mar-2021-0000

https://egis.environment.gov.za/
South Africa National Fossil unconditional “South Africa Budget 2021/22: Fuel levies will be increased by 27 cents per litre, comprising... Mobility Oil and oil products New or extended regulation (IT... 2021022424/02/2021 Fiscal Energy use (all energy types, consumption in transport, household use, buildings etc) Government 24/02/2021 These price increases come as part of South Africa's annual budget.

http://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/National%20Budget/2021/speech/speech.pdf
South Africa National Clean unconditional Sasol upscales renewables roll-out ambition to 900 MW, starts plotting big green-hydrogen role Power generation Multiple renewable Uncategorized 2021022222/02/2021 Other Electricity generation Sasol SOE To achieve its aim of decreasing GHG emissions by 10% by 2030, compared to 2017-baseline 22/02/2021 Sasol announced on Monday that it would pursue a 900 MW renewable-energy roll-out at its Secunda and Sasolburg complexes by 2030, raising its initial deployment target of 600 MW by 50%. A report published by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research a week ahead of Sasol’s results argued that South Africa’s Fischer-Tropsch plants could be repurposed to use green hydrogen to produce ‘powerfuels’, including carbon-neutral kerosene for export into Europe’s aviation sector.

https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/sasol-upscales-renewables-roll-out-ambition-to-900-mw-starts-plotting-big-green-hydrogen-role-2021-02-22
South Africa National Other energy Nuclear New Build Programme to procure 2.5 GW by 2024, and Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant life extended... Power generation Nuclear New or extended regulation (IT... 2020103030/10/2020 Other Electricity generation Department for Mineral Resources and Energy Government To increase electricity supply for grid stability 30/10/2020 Under Priority 1 (economic transformation and job creation) of the Government of South Africa for the period 2019-2024, it aims to extend the life of South Africa's only Nuclear Power Plant and add 2.5 GW additional nuclear power capacity to the grid. Further details are still outstanding.

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/The/PA-env-creecy.pdf
South Africa National Clean conditional Department for Environment, Forestry and Fisheries to develop and implement transition plans Other sector Multiple fossil New or extended regulation (IT... 2020103030/10/2020 Other Several energy stages Government of South Africa Government To ease the just transition of various sectors facilitating climate change and mitigate job losses 30/10/2020 Under Priority 1 (economic transformation and job creation) of the Government of South Africa for the period 2019-2024, it aims for natural resources to be managed and sectors and municipalities to be able to respond to the impact of climate change. Thus, by 2024 Sector Jobs Resilience Plans have to be approved and implemented under five value chains, including coal and petrol-based transport. Only high carbon emitting sectors are addressed by this, and the overarching aim us to contribute to a just transition to a low carbon economy and climate resilient society.

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/The/PA-env-creecy.pdf (p. 6)
South Africa National Clean conditional Minister Pravin Gordhan signs Eskom social compact with social partners Power generation Multiple energy types Uncategorized 2020120808/12/2020 Other Several energy stages Government 08/12/2020 At the end of 2019, social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council started negotiating the social compact recognizing that the resolution of the energy challenges was instrumental in ensuring the economic recovery of the country. South Africa's Minister for Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, noted that the Social Compact would allow partners to work together on “just transition” projects for the repurposing of old coal-powered stations, as part of mitigating against climate change, and transitioning them towards clean coal technologies. By doing so, it is intended to mitigate the impacts of the lack of economic activities because of the closure of the coal-powered stations.

https://www.gov.za/speeches/minister-gordhan-signs-eskom-social-compact-social-partners-8-dec-2020-0000
South Africa National Clean conditional Applications for self-generation facilities of above 1MW may now be processed by NERSA even if they ... Power generation Multiple renewable New or extended regulation (IT... 2020103030/10/2020 Other Electricity generation National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), Ministry of National Resources and Energy Government To releave prospective applicants 30/10/2020 The approval granted relates to generation facilities that are either: a) connected to the national grid, in circumstances in which the generation facility supplies electricity to a single customer and there is no wheeling of that electricity through the national grid; or b) connected to the national grid, in circumstances in which the generation facility is operated solely to supply a single customer or related customers by transporting electricity through the national grid where wheeling arrangements are in place between all affected parties.

http://nersa.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Media-Statement-Licencing-of-self-generation-facilities-above-1MW.pdf
South Africa Johannesburg Clean unconditional Coal-Powered Johannesburg Approves Policy on Greener Buildings Buildings Multiple energy types New or extended regulation (IT... 2020111313/11/2020 Other Several energy stages Johannesburg Council Government To be carbon neutral “within the buildings and energy sector” by 2050 13/11/2020 The Johannesburg council has approved a draft policy for the development of energy-efficient buildings powered by cleaner sources of electricity including renewables. The policy aims to set both mandatory and voluntary high-performance standards for all new buildings within the city's built environment.

https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/coal-powered-johannesburg-approves-policy-on-greener-buildings
South Africa National Other energy Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has issued the Request for Proposals for the Risk Mitigat... Resources Multiple energy types Government procurement (DT) 2020082222/08/2020 Other Electricity generation Government To alleviate current electricity supply constraints and reduce the utilisation of diesel-based peaking electrical generators 22/08/2020 The programme seeks to procure 2 GW from a range of energy sources and technologies. They will have to be dispatchable and be able to provide a range of support services to the grid system operator. By the end of June 2022, all power procured under this programme is expected to be fully operational. As of 22 December 2020, a total of 28 bids were submitted. The preferred bidder announcement is expected for February 2021.

http://www.dmr.gov.za/news-room/post/1861

https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/emergency-ipp-power-projects-to-be-grid-connected-by-mid-2022-2020-09-25/rep_id:4136
South Africa National Other energy The National Energy Regulator of South Africa has been permitted to grant above 1 MW licenses withou... Power generation Multiple energy types New or extended regulation (IT... 2020103030/10/2020 Other Electricity generation Government of South Africa Government To process licence applications for self-generation facilities of above 1 MW, even if they are not in compliance with the Integrated Resource Plan 2019. 30/10/2020 Profiteers are generation facilities connected to the national grid if it supplies electricity to a single customer and there is no wheeling of that electricity through the national grid.

https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/nersa-permitted-to-grant-above-1-mw-licences-without-ministerial-approval-2020-10-30/rep_id:4136
South Africa National Fossil unconditional Bailout of South African Airways Mobility Oil and oil products Budget or off-budget transfer ... 637406665.45256 2020102828/10/2020 Fiscal Energy use (all energy types, consumption in transport, household use, buildings etc) Government of South Africa Government For settling guaranteed debt and interest. 28/10/2020 10500000000 10500000000 This allocation is funded through reductions to the baselines of national departments, public entities and conditional grants. It is in addition to the R16.4 billion allocated in the February Budget for settling guaranteed debt and interest.

https://www.gov.za/speeches/minister-tito-mboweni-medium-term-budget-policy-statement-28-oct-2020-0000
South Africa National Other energy Amendments to Electricity Regulations on new generation capacity to enable municipal power generatio... Power generation Multiple energy types New or extended regulation (IT... 2020101616/10/2020 Other Electricity generation Government To ensure an orderly development that [...] in line with the applicable Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). Furthermore, the amendments will ensure that Section 34 Determination requests are from municipalities that are in good financial standing with feasible project proposals. 16/10/2020 The Department has put in place an internal standard operating procedure to ensure that the requests for Section 34 Determinations are attended to in the shortest possible time.

https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/energy/municipalities-get-green-light-to-make-power-5c300133-db8f-4dc2-abf9-eca3bd8c5799
https://www.gov.za/speeches/dmre-16-oct-2020-0000
South Africa National Clean unconditional Procurement of new generation capacity from Renewables (wind and PV) Power generation Multiple renewable New or extended regulation (IT... 2020091010/09/2020 Other Electricity generation Department of Mineral Resources and Energy and NERSA (National Energy Regulator of South Africa) Government New generation capacity must be procured to contribute to South Africa's energy security through 6800 MW from renewable energy sources (PV and wind) for the years 2022 - 2024 10/09/2020 "NERSA's concurrence with the determination by the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy on new generation capacity has legislative basis in the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act No. 4 of 2006) and the Energy Regulations on New Generation Capacity which requested concurrence that new generation capacity must be procured to contribute towards energy security. This is also guided by the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity 2019 - 2030, which provides a 'roadmap' for South Africa future energy sector. This procurement for additional electricity generation, also comes in light of severe power cuts (""load shedding"") in South Africa nationally, due to an ageing fleet of coal fired power stations."

http://nersa.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Decision-and-Reasons-for-Decision-for-the-Concurrence-new-generation-capacity-from-Renewables.pdf

http://www.dmr.gov.za/news-room/post/1866/minister-mantashe-welcomes-nersa-concurrence-to-ministerial-determination-for-the-procurement-of-11-813-mw-of-power
South Africa National Fossil unconditional Procurement of new generation capacity from gas, diesel, coal and storage Power generation Multiple fossil New or extended regulation (IT... 2020091010/09/2020 Other Electricity generation Department of Mineral Resources and Energy and NERSA (National Energy Regulator of South Africa) Government New generation capacity must be procured to contribute to South Africa's energy security through 513MW from storage (for the year 2022), 3 000MW from gas (for the years 2024 to 2027) and 1 500MW from coal (2023 to 2027) 10/09/2020 "NERSA's concurrence with the determination by the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy on new generation capacity has legislative basis in the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act No. 4 of 2006) and the Energy Regulations on New Generation Capacity which requested concurrence that new generation capacity must be procured to contribute towards energy security. This is also guided by the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity 2019 - 2030, which provides a 'roadmap' for South Africa future energy sector. This procurement for additional electricity generation, also comes in light of severe power cuts (""load shedding"") in South Africa nationally, due to an ageing fleet of coal fired power stations."

http://nersa.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Decision-and-Reasons-for-Decision-for-the-Concurrence-new-generation-capacity-from-Renewables.pdf

http://www.dmr.gov.za/news-room/post/1866/minister-mantashe-welcomes-nersa-concurrence-to-ministerial-determination-for-the-procurement-of-11-813-mw-of-power
South Africa National Other energy Access to Eskom, Sasol and Arcelor Mittal’s pollution records Multiple sectors Multiple energy types New or extended regulation (IT... Other Several energy stages The Ministry of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Government Increasing access to information. The Minister of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy has ordered her department to disclose future information about the GHG emissions of the country's biggest polluters.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-04-09-no-more-secrecy-says-creecy-ordering-disclosure-of-climate-gas-records-from-sas-big-polluters/ Accessed 18 May 2020
South Africa National Fossil unconditional Lowered pollution standards for SO2 emitters Multiple sectors Multiple energy types Other hybrid support measures Other Several energy stages The Ministry of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Government The Minister of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, published SO2 air pollution standards twice as low as previous standards at the start of the Covid-19 emergency lockdown.

https://www.iol.co.za/saturday-star/news/government-locks-sa-into-deadly-air-pollution-amid-covid-19-pandemic-45895850 Accessed 18 May 2020
https://www.iol.co.za/saturday-star/news/government-locks-sa-into-deadly-air-pollution-amid-covid-19-pandemic-45895850 Accessed 18 May 2020
South Africa National Fossil unconditional New amendments to the Mineral Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Multiple sectors Coal Uncategorized Other Exploration or production or processing or storage or transportation Government Facilitate new mining projects 30/05/2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has released new amendments to the Mineral Resources Development Act which undermine the right of affected communities to oppose mining projects

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2020-03-30-mantashe-uses-state-of-disaster-to-escape-accountability/ Accessed 13 May 2020
South Africa National Fossil unconditional Deferral of first carbon tax payment and filing of tax returns Multiple sectors Multiple energy types Regulatory rollback or non-gov... 2020040101/04/2020 Fiscal Energy use (all energy types, consumption in transport, household use, buildings etc) Carbon Tax Act 15 of 2019, Ministry of Finance Government To provide cash flow relief and to alleviate some of the compliance burden on taxpayers, a three-month deferral of the first period for submission of accounts and carbon tax payments is proposed. 01/04/2020 31/10/2020 Due to COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown, many industries and businesses have closed. As such, it is argued that they have decreased income and also are polluting less. The rationale for this is then to allow them a 'payment holiday' for carbon tax emissions due to the reasons above. To provide cash flow relief and to alleviate some of the compliance burdens on taxpayers, a three-month deferral of the first period for submission of accounts and carbon tax payments is proposed."

http://www.treasury.gov.za/comm_media/press/2020/20200424%20Remarks%20by%20Minister%20of%20Finance,%20Mr,%20Tito%20Mbownei,%20during%20the%20media%20briefing%20to%20outline%20R500BN%20economic%20support%20package.pdf Accessed 13 May 2020
South Africa National Other energy Wind power supply disruptions Power generation Wind Government procurement (DT) 2020040101/04/2020 Other Electricity generation ESKOM Government Manage the reduced demand for electricity by relying on fewer variable sources of energy generation. 01/04/2020 Eskom has issued a Force Majeure to curtail wind power producers from supplying power to the grid. This is because demand is expected to fall; this directly affects the power purchase agreements between Eskom and Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (REIPPs)

https://sawea.org.za/eskom-issues-curtailment-notice-to-wind-farms-citing-covid-19/ Accessed 8 April 2020
South Africa National Other energy IDC providing working capital to suppliers of primary energy Power generation Multiple energy types New or extended regulation (IT... 2020032424/03/2020 Fiscal Several energy stages Government Funding to boost primary energy suppliers (alongside other essential sectors). The Industrial Development Corporation has allocated R3 billion in funding for firms that produce essential goods to scale up their operations. This includes the energy sector and specifically, primary energy suppliers.

https://www.gov.za/speeches/minister-ebrahim-patel-government%E2%80%99s-intervention-measures-coronavirus-24-mar-2020-0000 Accessed 4 April 2020