Sustainable Energy for Environment and Development (SEED)

The core objective of the SEED programme is to integrate sustainable energy and environment concerns into urban development in South Africa.  The programme has recently entered its 12th year, and fourth project phase.

Phase 1, beginning in 1998, had sustainable housing as its focus. This was in line with the national focus of the post-apartheid Reconstruction and Development Programme. SEED Phase 1 ‘planted’ energy advisors within local government. These early local energy professionals worked to make visible the invisible energy threads.

This led to the pioneering of city-wide, integrated energy data collection and planning processes and the support of City Energy and Climate Strategy development in cities across the country through Phase 2. Key achievements in this phase included the development of Africa’s first ever City Energy Strategy, in Cape Town, in early 2000; the hosting of a City Energy Strategies Conference convened in partnership with the SA Cities Network and the collection of data across 15 South African cities and towns and publication of a State of Energy in SA Cities Report, 2006.

SEED Phase 3 pursued this work, increasingly exploring how to support the mass implementation of sustainable energy interventions and the institutional transformation to facilitate this. To support this objective SEED Phase 3 continued the successful project approach of building capacity of city officials, generating and disseminating knowledge acquired through ‘learning by doing’ in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy, strengthening national networks for learning exchange and policy development towards sustainable urban development.
Project achievements of Phase 3 have included:

  • The development of the City of Cape Town draft Solar Water Heater bylaw
  • The city energy and development masters level short course run in partnership with the Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town
  • Capacity building workshops on implementation mechanisms
  • Supporting appropriate institutional development in cities for integrating sustainable energy into city development
  • Ongoing technical support to cities, including thermal analysis of housing projects, led lighting research, solar water heater rollout models
  • Documentary on city energy to highlight key issues, provide an holistic view of cities and energy with the aim of motivating and inspiring local and national leaders and officials

The SEED Programme has run since 1998 through generous and ongoing support from Danida and has now entered a fourth phase (see SEED Phase 4 project description). SEED partner cities during the first three phases have included the City of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni Municipality, the City of Johannesburg, City of Cape Town, Tlokwe Municipality and Sol Plaatje Municipality. The project also worked closely with the cities of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, Buffalo City and Mangaung Local Municipality, with some information support provided to Sedibeng and uMhlatuzi.

Project Manager contact: Megan Euston-Brown
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