Energising Polokwane: Household energy moves from strategy to action

With support from SEA and the University of Limpopo, the Municipality of Polokwane is working towards reducing energy poverty through providing clean, safe, affordable and reliable energy services. Find out more about this inclusive initiative.

Energy futures modelling for Polokwane municipality, based on updated energy data, indicates that a ‘business as usual’ energy future would impose greater and greater energy costs on citizens, relative to economic growth and inflation. An efficient future can be achieved at no additional cost to the economy and by 2030 the annual savings to the economy would be as great as R1,9 billion rand. This future would also contribute to national climate mitigation goals.

 Polokwane’s Green Goal Energy Future details a set of strategies and a ctions to achieve such a future. Goal 3 of the updated strategy is to: Reduce energy poverty by meeting the energy needs of residents with safe, clean, affordable and reliable energy services. A partnership project involving the Municipality, the Province, SEA and the University of Limpopo, is underway to address the issue and in so doing improve climate change resilience through improved quality of life and reduced impact on the local environment.
An energy survey of 388 households in the Ga-Dikgale area indicated that the major issue for households is the cos t of electricity and the resulting reliance on unsafe, dirty or environmentally harmful fuels. Through a series of workshops with the community, interest was expressed in the hot box as an alternative, clean energy service for rollout by the municipality. In addition the survey revealed the challenge of ensuring FBE rollout reaches all qualifying households. 


The project model looks to develop micro entrepreneurship to provide the alternative, clean energy service. Five, young women drawn from the community are being supported to develop this small business opportunity. Tthe concept looks to the municipality to provide a ‘market’ for the products developed. Elderly women from the community will receive training in sewing the hotboxes, spreading the development opportunity. 

Energy data and strategy were done by SEA; Energy futures modelling by the Energy Research Centre through SAMSET project (DFID and EPSRC funding). The community project is being developed though the donor support of Bread for the World.