Environment: National Context

  • The amount allocated to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is expected to increase from R6.6 billion in 2018/19, to R8.2 billion by 2021/22.

  • The carbon tax bill, aimed at businesses that emit high levels of carbon, was passed in June 2019. The bill aims to enable South Africa to meet the internationally determined commitments of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change (which comes into effect in 2020) and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the National Climate Change Response Policy. The proposed tax is R120 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent and the DEA and the South African Revenue Service will monitor the tax payments. Government anticipates that the tax will reduce business’s carbon emissions by 33% by 2035.

  • According to Plastics South Africa’s 2018 recycling survey, the country recycled 352 000 tons (46%) of used plastic into raw material. In comparison, Europe’s recycling rate was at 31%. Plastics recycling sustained nearly 8 000 jobs.

Guidelines for Effective Funding in Environment

  • Support for environmental activities should be considered part of an integrated sustainable development response, in which reducing poverty and protecting natural resources are considered together. Frequently, a project that serves an environmental agenda can also have measurable social benefits. Funders should therefore support win-win approaches, whereby projects to protect the environment also support livelihood strategies and bring social benefits to local communities.

  • When considering environmental projects, choose to support those that acknowledge the importance of engaging the local community upfront and securing its support, commitment to, and ownership of the project.

  • Environmental programmes benefit from including an educational component to ensure that communities – particularly the younger generation – understand, endorse and support conservation measures. 

  • Consider initiatives that integrate conservation measures into local economic development. In rural areas particularly, funders can help to nurture an emerging biodiversity economy by supporting microenterprises that enhance biodiversity resources.

  • As with all programmes, the impact is greater when funders contribute within their sphere of influence and understanding. Focusing on issues that can be closely linked to the values of your business is likely to be more effective than offering support to a random cause.

National Directives for Environment

Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), 2011
This programme aims to stimulate the renewable industry in South Africa while encouraging foreign
investment in the sector, and developing socioeconomic and environmentally sustainable growth. It
addresses energy security and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and includes a number of
prescriptions to ensure local community ownership and socioeconomic development in the vicinity of
the renewable energy power plants.
National Waste Management Strategy, 2011
This strategy seeks to systematically improve waste management in South Africa and aims to achieve the
objectives of the 2008 Waste Act: “to protect health, wellbeing and the environment through sound waste
management and application of the waste management hierarchy”.
National Water Resource Strategy Plan, 2013
This strategy aims to ensure equitable access to, and use of water by, all South Africans, while sustaining
the country’s water resource. It responds to priorities set in the National Development Plan and National
Water Act, that support sustainable development. It proposes measures such as water conservation and
water demand management, further utilisation of groundwater, desalination, water reuse, rainwater
harvesting and treated acid mine drainage.
National Coastal Management Programme of South Africa, 2014
The overall goal of this policy is to ensure integrated coastal management, so as to improve the quality of
life of human communities who depend on coastal resources, while maintaining the biological diversity and
productivity of coastal ecosystems. Emphasis is on uniting government and the community, science and
management, sectoral and public interests in preparing and implementing an integrated plan.
National Integrated Energy Plan, 2015
This plan seeks to ensure efficient use of and sustainable access to energy, as well as to promote job
creation. It analyses current energy consumption trends within different sectors of the economy (i.e.
agriculture, commerce, residential and transport) and uses this to project future energy requirements,
based on different scenarios. It then determines the optimal combination of energy sources and
technologies to meet identified needs in the most cost-effective manner. The plan will be reviewed
periodically to consider changes in the macroeconomic environment, developments in new technologies
and changes in national priorities and imperatives.
National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, 2016
The vision of this plan is to conserve, manage and sustainably use biodiversity to ensure equitable
benefits to all South Africans, now and in the future. It is in place for a 10-year period, from 2015 to 2025,
and integrates obligations under the convention on biological diversity with the global and national
development frameworks.