In 2003, the White Paper on the Renewable Energy Policy of the Republic of South Africa recognized climate change as one of the major environmental threats facing the world today.
Within the framework of the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) released in 2003, policies should recognize the need to balance the requirements of energy supply security and low-cost, affordable and accessible energy with other imperatives, such as environmental and social development.
In 2005, the Energy Efficiency Strategy of the Republic of South Africa was published by the Department of Minerals and Energy. It recognized energy efficiency as one of the most cost-effective ways of meeting the demands of sustainable development and providing environmental benefits.
In 2006 , the Draft Environmental Fiscal Reform Policy Paper entitled “A Framework for considering market-based instruments to support Environmental Fiscal Reform in South Africa” provided a foundation to build on and support environmentally related initiatives and maintained a coherent tax policy framework for considering and evaluating environmental taxes.
In 2007, the Energy Security Master Plan for Electricity prepared security of supply standards for the generation and transmission of electricity, and proposed several interventions for achieving the respective adequacy measures.
In 2010, the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) was designed to scale up efforts that promote long-term industrialization and industrial diversification in South Africa beyond the country’s current reliance on traditional commodities and non-tradable services. The IPAP identified renewable energy industrial development as one of the green growth potentials that should be explored.
In 2010, the New Growth Path identified the green economy as creating new jobs through utilizing technological innovation, expanding existing public employment schemes to protect the environment, and producing renewable energy and biofuels.
In 2011, the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for Electricity was prepared aiming to ensure new electricity generation capacity for the country for the period 2010–30. The Policy-Adjusted IRP estimated a peak price of R1.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2021. After 2028, the technology learning rates on new renewable options should lead to lower costs.
In 2011, National Climate Change Response White Paper elaborated on the government’s role in developing and implementing a suite of policy measures and strategies aimed at both mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change. It also recognized that a mix of economic instruments including MBIs such as carbon taxes, ETS and incentives complemented by appropriate regulatory policy measures were essential to drive and facilitating mitigation efforts and creating incentives for mitigation actions across a wide range of key economic sectors.
In 2011, the National Planning Commission (NPC) held low-carbon workshops involving a wide range of participants from government departments, the private sector, academia and civil society. The aim was to develop a pathway for the transition to a low-carbon economy as part of the country’s National Development Plan (NDP).
Sources: South Africa’s Policy Interaction Experience, PMR – Policy Mapping Workshop, Mar 2013; Carbon Tax Policy Paper (for public comment), May 2013