South Africa is marked by historical inequalities to energy access which prevent disadvantaged households from satisfying basic developmental needs. Despite many pro-poor policies and strategies, and an impressive electrification and housing programme since democracy, the country is still faced with many challenges around energy poverty.

Energy justice addresses the need to ensure that all citizens have fair and affordable access to clean, reliable, safe and sustainable energy resources. Energy justice aims to create a sustainable and inclusive energy system while addressing historical injustices and promoting a more equitable and resilient energy future.

95 %

of households with access to the grid electricity

3.1 billion Rand

is distributed through Free Basic Electricity per year

22 %

Average rate of FBE implementation in municipalities

Our Work in Action

Under this theme, SEA supports Cities to better understand the challenges around energy service delivery, builds capacity, supports improved data tracking and tackle some of the regulatory challenges that impact on energy poverty. In addition our work has included policy analysis and recommendations for government on how to better tackle energy justice.

Active Projects

  • Mobilizing Social Movements for Energy Democracy and Sovereignty in South Africa

    The project aims to strengthen social and environmental justice movements for democratic engagement and to partner with municipalities and relevant entities so as to lead to the installation and operation of community-led, socially owned renewable energy.

  • Supporting Sustainable Energy in South African Municipalities

    Promoting equitable and affordable sustainable energy solutions in municipalities, focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Past Projects

  • Towards a Just Energy Transition in South Africa through affordable electricity for low income households

    SEA's role in this project explored the challenges of affordable electricity service delivery and established an evidence base to equip government to review current policies related to electricity access and explore how to mitigate the potentially negative impacts of renewable energy development on the sustainability of basic electricity access across the country.  

  • The renewable opportunity for achieving universal energy access in African C40 cities

    This project showcased how C40 African cities have lead the continent’s progress towards achieving SDG 7 through renewable deployment and built their profile as key stakeholders of the transition to renewable energy systems. SEA was commissioned to develop knowledge products showcasing how renewable energy sources are relevant in an African urban context and how support from the international community can help cities trailblaze an energy revolution for Africa.

  • City of Johannesburg Electric Vehicle Readiness Support Programme

    The project supported the implementation of the ‘electrification of passenger vehicles’ and ‘decarbonising the grid’ work streams of the City of Joburg’s Climate Action Plan. SEA's primary goal in this project was to build the capacity of City officials in order to be EV ready.