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Webinar: Decarbonising township industrial spaces and SMMEs through Energy Hubs

Perspectives from South Africa and China
27 March 2024
11:00 AM - 13:00 PM

Decarbonisation is the process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions when energy systems transition to cleaner energy sources. It requires huge investments in infrastructure and technologies but many of these are in early development, inaccessible, or not cost-competitive against traditional sources of energy.

 In South Africa, decarbonisation poses specific challenges. The country’s energy system has traditionally been coal-dependent, with coal-fired power plants providing most of the electricity. Transitioning to low-carbon alternatives also requires significant investments in renewable energy infrastructure, technology upgrades, and re-skilling of the workforce. In addition, most townships in South Africa depend almost solely on coal and other fossil-based fuels like paraffin and gas as sources of energy for cooking and heating.

The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) will host a webinar on 27 March 2024 to discuss decarbonisation in South African townships,  focusing on the Vaal Triangle, an industrial area located in South Africa’s Gauteng province. We will examine the challenges and prospects of decarbonisation by assessing the roles of investment partnerships and the value chains of small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs). Globally, SMMEs make up 99% of all enterprises and provide about 60% of all employment. They play a central part in economies and have extensive social and economic influence. There is room for SMMEs in the country to learn from the experiences of countries such as China, where industries have been highly successful in leading decarbonisation and creating energy hubs. Moreover, theSino-African Declaration on Climate Change and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Dakar Action Plan (2022–2024) emphasised issues around promoting renewable energy.

Date: 27 March 2024

Time: 11:00–13:00

Registration: To register, please click here.

For more information, please contact Masego Masenya at