Energy Communities are
communities that host power plants.

Knowledge Pele travels the breadth and width of South Africa researching the needs and assets of energy communities. We do this at the request of clients in the energy sector. We also do this as part of our own research project which seeks to understand the development paths that are possible for energy communities. This page will be constantly updated with our latest findings to help IPPs and other social investors understand the context better.

Comprehensive Map of KP’s Research Activities Across South Africa

The above is a comprehensive list of communities that KP has inducted research in. This includes energy communities; mining communities and other underprivileged communities with potential for large-scale infrastructure development.

 

South Africa liberalised its energy generation sector in 2011. By allowing independent power producers (IPPs) to supply power to the national grid, a new array of development possibilities emerged.This is driven by an obligation on IPPs to invest a percentage of annual revenue in the development of the energy communities that host them. The data presented below is from an on-going study into the needs and assets of energy communities. It is taken from a sample of 1000 people in communities that host solar and wind power plants in the Northern Cape, Free State and North-West.

Demographics of Research Participants

GENDER

%

RACE

%

HIGHEST LEVEL OF EDUCATION

None

0
%

Some Primary

0
%

Full Primary

0
%

Some Secondary

0
%

Full Secondary

0
%

Some Tertiary

0
%

Full Tertiary

0
%

Quick Insight:

Our research participants are randomly selected adults over the age of 18. They reside within a 50km radius of existing and upcoming power plants.

Household Income

HOUSEHOLD INCOME

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

None

Gifts

Pension

Weekly Wages

Government Grants

Business Profits

Family / Friends

Monthly Salaries

PERCEIVED FACTORS OF GETTING A  JOB

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

Quick Insight:

Only 38% of interviewed households rely on income earned from work.

The unemployment crisis is severe in energy communities.

Formal Qualifications

Gender

Experience

Language Fluency

Informal Training

Personal Connections

Race

Not Disclosed

Household Infrastructure

AVAILABILITY OF HOUSEHOLD INFRASTRUCTURE

Yes

No

Undisclosed

INTERNET ENABLED

%

FLUSH TOILET

%

ELECTRICITY

%

RUNNING WATER

%

Quick Insight:

We learn that the quality of buildings within which people reside is poor. We also learn that while the majority of households have access  to water and electricity, the reliability of supply is low.

THINK:

Energy communities are rural and peri-urban in nature. They are thus geographically excluded. It is therefore alarming that few households have access to internet enabled phones as this means they cannot use the internet as a means to reducing the distance between themselves and opportunities.

QUALITY OF HOUSEHOLD INFRASTRUCTURE

Average

Bad

Good

Not Applicable

Undisclosed

BUILDING

%

WATER

%

ELECTRICITY

%

INSIDE TOILET

%

OUTSIDE TOILET

%

INTERNET ACCESS

%

Community Stakeholders

DO YOU TRUST COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS?

Municipal Workers

Religious Leaders

Ward Councilors

Community Leaders

Tribal Leaders

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

Always Trust Them

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

Sometimes Trust Them

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

Never  Trust Them

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

Not Disclosed

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

Refused to Comment

DO COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS DELIVER ON PROMISES?

Municipal Workers

Religious Leaders

Ward Councilors

Community Leaders

Tribal Leaders

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

Always Deliver

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

Sometimes Deliver

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

Never Deliver

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

Not Disclosed

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

Refused to Comment

Quick Insight:

Religious leaders are the most trusted members of communities. Municipal workers and ward councillors enjoy the least trust within energy communities. This is based on their perceived track record in delivering on promises. Energy communities have high expectations of the private sector as they see them both as a commercial actor and community investor.

PERCEIVED ROLE OF BIG BUSINESSES

Always

Never

Not Disclosed

Sometimes

0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%
0
%

Create Jobs

Skills Development

Support Smaller Businesses

Partner with Local Govt.

on Development Initiatives

Give Donations

Community Infrastructure

Quick Insight:

There is a massive need for infrastructure in energy communities. This includes hospitals, training colleges and economic infrastructure such as roads. However, according to the Energy Department, IPP’s only spend 7% of their social investments on infrastructure. The bulk goes to education, in the form of bursaries and enrichment programmes. One of the challenges with infrastructure is cost. Solutions are therefore needed if we are to respond to the actual needs that communities report on.

Availability of Health and Welfare Infrastructure

Yes

No

Don't Know

Not Disclosed

CLINICS

%

HOSPITALS

%

OLD AGE

HOMES

%

ORPHANAGES

%

Yes

No

Don't Know

Not Disclosed

CRÈCHES

%

PRIMARY

SCHOOLS

%

HIGH

SCHOOLS

%

LIBRARIES

%

TRAINING

COLLEGES

%

Availability of Education Infrastructure

Availability of Community Infrastructure

Yes

No

Don't Know

Not Disclosed

TARRED

ROADS

%

SPORTS & REC. CENTRE

%

COMMUNITY

HALL

%