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South Africa fast facts



Key cross-sectoral policies

Green Economy Accord

National Development Plan 2030

Key thematic and sectoral action areas in 2017:

Green industry and trade

Strategic Partnerships

IGE learning and e-learning

PAGE's support to South Africa contributes to the achievement of the following SDGs:

Sustainable Development Goals icon

Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education

SDG goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land

Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals


The South African government is set on transitioning towards an environmentally sustainable, climate-change resilient, low-carbon economy and just society. PAGE support focuses on improved collaboration, co-ordination and implementation of existing green economy policy frameworks.

PAGE and its partners in South Africa continue to:

  1. contribute to better policy coordination and deepen collaboration of green economy policy, planning and implementation
  2. identify economic sectors ready for green economy transformation
  3. strengthen institutional capabilities through enhanced green economy learning and training and knowledge sharing platforms

The key area for collaboration between development partners in 2017 has been identified as joint delivery of multi-stakeholder dialogues on green economy and sustainable development.


Collaborative Partnerships

In South Africa, PAGE focuses on coordinating action and forming collaborative partnerships to effectively and efficiently deliver on the country’s vision of transitioning to a “low-carbon, resource-efficient and pro-employment development path”, as codified in their:


This year, the Industrial Policy Action Plan identified climate-compatible industrial development as a key theme, recognising that energy-efficient production and carbon mitigation efforts and measures will increasingly have to be applied to all sectors of the economy.

Progress in 2017: A Snapshot

Identifying Sustainable Trade Opportunities

In 2017, the South Africa Green Industry and Trade Assessment (SA-GEITA) was finalized. It's objective has been to identify windows of opportunity to promote sustainable trade initiatives. The findings were presented at the:

Other related work linked to trade opportunities in organic agriculture has also been initiated in 2017. The aim here is to strengthen capacities to facilitate the sustainable production and export of organic products.

Taking Stock: A Green Economy Inventory

PAGE has been leading the development of a Green Economy Inventory which seeks to be a platform for both enhancing coordination and reviewing the pathway towards South Africa’s green economy transition.

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues

In October 2017, a High Level Debate and Diagnostic on Renewable Energy and Industrialization was convened under the OR Tambo Debate Series – Implementing the National Development Plan (NDP).

Harnessing strategic partnerships

The collaboration of the five UN PAGE agencies with government, and the development of a programmatic approach for national PAGE implementation, provides a strategic framework to which other development partners can link their green economy related projects.

The role of partnerships will be demonstrated in 2018 through the delivery of the South Africa Green Economy Academy where implementing partners of the Green Economy Coalition in South Africa, African Centre for a Green Economy and Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies as well as the GIZ will be actively supporting this knowledge sharing event.


To support the development of e-learning for green economy, PAGE convened a three-day training of trainers on "How to design, deliver and evaluate effective e-learning?".

The training was attended by members of NorthWest University, as well as participants from the government, civil society and the South African academic sector. PAGE and the University will continue to provide joint methodological and technical support for the scale-up of e-learning. 

How does PAGE's work in South Africa meet its objectives?


Outcome 1: National policy making

In South Africa, PAGE country outcome 1 has been structured around supporting improved collaboration, co-ordination and implementation of existing green economy policy frameworks, rather than the formulation of new policies. Moreover, PAGE aims to support the integration of SDG targets in national development planning and policy processes, including through its support for sectoral reform.

In terms of PAGE's technical support to South Africa, a Green Economy Inventory was completed in 2016 and published online in 2017. This inventory takes stock of some of the key initiatives that are being implemented by a wide range of partners in both the public and private sector. Also in 2017, South Africa initiated the development of a National Framework for Green Economy Indicators, based on PAGE’s Green Economy Measurement Framework. PAGE also provided complementary support on green economy modelling

In terms of support to specific sectors, PAGE has been supporting South Africa in discussions around the mainstreaming of green jobs into South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey and contributing to knowledge sharing at the first Africa Forum on Private Sector Inclusive Green Growth and Decent Green Job Creation.

In terms of capacity, Sustainability Week was held in South Africa in June 2017 as one of South Africa’s key sustainability platforms devised as a multi-sectoral and cross-cutting forum for knowledge exchange, where PAGE was featured as one of 40 exhibitors. PAGE has also participated in several other workshops and events across the country in 2017 promoting green economy topics.

Outcome 2: Sectoral reform

In terms of identifying opportunities for greening sectors, and enhancing the implementation of existing sectoral policies and strategies, PAGE has provided support in the finalisation of South Africa's Green Industry and Trade Assessment (SA-GEITA), conducted in collaboration with Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies. The findings, which were presented at national and regional fora, could inform the implementation of the 2017 edition of South African's Industrial Policy Action Plan.

Additional trade-work related to the identification of product-specific trade opportunities in organic agriculture has also been initiated in 2017. ‘Leveraging Trade in Organic and Biodiversity-based Agricultural Products through South African Value Chains’ will help to strengthen capacity development needed to facilitate the sustainable production and export of organic and biodiversity-based agricultural products. 

Women at work in IT in South Africa

Outcome 3: Strengthening capacity

The Green Economy Learning Assessment (GELA) for South Africa, supports the development of capacity development, and was completed by a national institution, Green Skills.

The Assessment identifies:

  • learning priorities across economic sectors for green economy policy action
  • reviews existing institutional capacities to provide education and training activities, and
  • identifies opportunities for up-scaling the delivery of green economy learning through national institutions.

The findings of the GELA provided the foundation for targeted actions in 2017, including the development of an e-learning course tailored to the context of South Africa.

PAGE is also supporting the development of e-learning for green economy and in 2017 convened a three-day training of trainers on “How to design, deliver and evaluate effective e-learning?”. Furthermore, PAGE has been providing technical support for the development of an interactive Green Economy Knowledge Hub in South Africa as well as a National Green Economy Academy.

Outcome 4: Knowledge sharing 

PAGE is supporting countries to improve their Inclusive Green Economy knowledge base by generating and sharing knowledge products such as manuals, reports, lessons learned and best practices with the aim to inform and support national policy analysis and formulation.

For knowledge sharing, PAGE organizes high level events, conferences, workshops involving current and future PAGE countries to build networks and global platforms to exchange experiences and information.

SDGs and Paris Agreement Articles

In South Africa, PAGE is contributing towards the achievement of seven SDGs (4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, and 17) through harnessing partnerships and green economy learning, promoting green economy and trade, and providing support on modelling.