With nearly 86% of its carbon dioxide (CO2) coming from coal, South Africa is one of the world’s most coal-dependent countries. Additionally, it produces nearly a quarter of the continent’s total carbon emissions. Its economy is highly dependent on agriculture and mineral extraction, which are energy-intensive. Importantly, South Africa is subject to climate variability and change. The effects are exacerbated by dysfunctional municipalities’ limited ability to build climate resilience systems and ensure robust disaster risk management. With local government administrative instability, service delivery failures, and financial mismanagement highlighted by Good Governance Africa’s (GGA) Governance Performance Index (GPI), societal stakeholders bear the brunt of dysfunction, particularly amidst escalating climate-induced natural disasters, which further strain government resources. As such, the fight against climate change requires a coordinated response from government, the private sector, and citizens. Presently, citizens do not identify the private sector as a key stakeholder in mitigating climate change. This suggests that the private sector does not have a visible presence in the fight against climate change, thereby presenting the private sector with an opportunity to support the decentralisation of the just energy transition. These efforts can also form part of attempts by the private sector to mainstream Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) best practices.

Mmabatho Mongae is a Data Analyst within the Governance Insights & Analyst Programme. She is a PhD candidate in International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand, and her thesis research focuses on how governance quality influences popular support for and satisfaction with democracy in Africa. While completing her PhD, Mmabatho worked as Sessional lecturer in the International Relations Department at the University of the Witwatersrand and as a research fellow at the Centre for Africa-China Studies (CACS) at the University of Johannesburg. Her research interests include democracy, governance, Africa’s political economy, and quantitative social analysis. Mmabatho has published research for Routledge, EISA, and The Thinker.    

Nnaemeka is a data analyst and researcher at Good Governance Africa. He completed his Masters degree in e-Science (Data Science) at the University of the Witwatersrand, supported by a scholarship from the South African government’s Department of Science and Innovation. Much of his research explores socio-political issues like human development, governance, disinformation, bias, and polarisation, using data science and AI techniques. He has published research in scholarly journals like Politeia, Journal of Social Development in Africa, and The Africa Governance Papers. He has experience working as a Data Consultant at DataEQ Consulting and teaching at the Federal University, Lafia in Nigeria and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.