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The Energy and Society programme is focused on researching key aspects of the just transition that are currently under-represented in the national debate. This includes issues such as the role of electricity sales in supporting the current  fiscal framework, and the linkages between energy availability and cost, and household poverty. Our goal is to undertake detailed empirical research that will make a contribution to national energy policy and to build a civil society coalition around this agenda.

Lead: Dr Tracy Ledger

Energy GovernancePublicationsReports
November 11, 2021

The Net-Zero Energy Transition: Policy case studies from INETTT

In December 2020, an international group of think tanks working for the energy transition in major and emerging economies around the world came together to create the International Network of…
Energy GovernanceMultimediaNewsvideos
September 22, 2021

WATCH | Should Electricity Be A Free Basic Right?

Is there a duty on the government to provide free basic electricity to the people of South Africa, especially the poor? Dr. Tracy Ledger, a senior researcher and Lead of…
Energy GovernanceNewspodcasts
August 30, 2021

Podcast | What went wrong with free basic electricity?

This community announcement aims to inform households about why affordable basic energy allocations have not been delivered as promised, and what they can do about it. It is available in…
Energy GovernanceOISOp EdPublications
August 18, 2021

Op Ed | Energy Transition Moves Beyond the Boardroom

by Vincent Obisie-Orlu In May Royal Dutch Shell lost what is considered a precedent setting climate change case for oil companies. The Hague district court in the Netherlands ordered Shell…
Energy GovernanceNews
June 9, 2021

Mbongiseni Buthelezi joins the Agora Energiewende Supervisory Board

Mbongiseni Buthelezi has joined the Supervisory Board of Agora Energiewende: a think tank funded by the European Climate Foundation and Stiftung Mercator that focuses on dialogue with energy policymakers. It…
Energy GovernanceMultimediaNews
May 12, 2021

Watch | PARI uncovers scandal totaling billions of rand

In the interview with Newzroom Afrika, Tracy Ledger breaks down the incentives for municipalities to divert funds intended for free basic services. She discusses the imbalance in the conversation around…
Energy GovernanceMultimediaNews
April 22, 2021

Listen | Tracy Ledger chats to YFM about Broken Promises report

On Thursday, 22 April 2021, Dr Tracy Ledger chatted to YFM about the main findings in her latest research report Broken Promises and what communities need to know about free…
Energy GovernanceNewsPublicationsReportsWorking Papers
April 21, 2021

Broken Promises | New research from the EnergySociety programme

A new report on electricity access for low-income households by Tracy Ledger, Lead Researcher on the Energy and Society programme. Poverty has received scant attention from an energy perspective. This…
Energy GovernancePublicationsWorking Papers
April 21, 2021

A Just Distribution: What is missing from the current narratives of a just transition?

by Tracy Ledger 'What is missing from the current narratives of a just transition? In our initial assessment, there are two key gaps in the current national just transition debate…
Energy GovernanceMultimediaMultimediaNews
April 20, 2021

Listen | New research shows how municipalities divert funding intended for free basic electricity

Head of the Energy and Society programme, Tracy Ledger, speaks to Thabiso Tema on PowerFM in a revelatory discussion about how the failure to provide free basic electricity for poor…
blogEnergy GovernanceNewsPublications
April 16, 2021

Community Brief | The Broken Promise of Affordable Energy For All

Download this Community Brief in the following languages:People who get enough electricity to meet their daily needs, at a price that they can afford to pay, have many benefits: They…
Energy GovernanceNews
January 27, 2021

A Just Energy Transition Must Not Deepen Inequality

Smart Energy International, 23 January 2021 A new working paper by Dr Tracy Ledger, A Just Distribution, argues that: ‘A better understanding of the linkages between distribution and socioeconomic development…
Energy GovernanceNewsOp EdPublications
January 15, 2021

Op Ed | A just energy transition must be developmental, pro-poor and not deepen inequality

by Tracy Ledger A better understanding of the linkages between electricity distribution and poverty is critical to a just transition. Otherwise, we run the very real risk of restructuring our…
Energy GovernancePublicationsWorking Papers
January 15, 2021

A Just Distribution: What is missing from the current narratives of a just transition?

by Tracy Ledger 'What is missing from the current narratives of a just transition? In our initial assessment, there are two key gaps in the current national just transition debate…
Energy GovernanceOp EdPublications
July 20, 2020

Another Reason Why Eskom is the Bull in the Fiscal China Shop

By Tracy Ledger   We have seen many headlines over the past two years highlighting the negative effects of Eskom on the national fiscus. Billions of rands have been allocated…
Energy GovernanceFeaturedNewsOp Ed
April 16, 2020

Op Ed | SA Needs a Medupi Write-Off

By Dr Tracy Ledger There are growing global calls for a debt write-off for developing countries because of Covid-19. Eskom received a $3.75-billion loan from the World Bank in 2010,…
Energy GovernanceFeaturedOp EdPublications
March 25, 2019

Op Ed | Not Knowing What The Problem Is, IS The Problem

Not knowing what the problem is, IS the problem Dr Tracy Ledger Daily Maverick, 22 March 2019 Eskom has hit a brick wall and, by all accounts, no one in…
Energy GovernanceFeaturedOp EdPublications
March 9, 2019

Op Ed | Unbundling Eskom Will Reveal True ANC

Unbundling Eskom Will Reveal ANC’s True Nature Simba Lando, Thokozani Chilenga-Butao and Dr Tracy Ledger The Citizen, Saturday 9 March 2019 The mismanagement and corruption at Eskom has reached crisis…
#AfterCaptureEnergy GovernanceFeaturedPublicationsReports
February 22, 2019

Why the Lights Went Out: Reform in the South African Energy Sector

By Tracy Ledger (van der Heijden), for the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice In 2019, Eskom's narrative is a cry of victimhood, laying blame…
#AfterCaptureEnergy GovernancePSR RoundtablesState Reform
July 25, 2018

The Future of Energy and State-owned Companies in SA

In this fifth roundtable of the #AfterCapture Public Service Reform series, keynote speakers Catrina Godinho and Lauren Hermanus delivered a comprehensive and candid presentation on the role of state-owned enterprises…
Energy GovernanceFeaturedGovernmentMediaOp Ed
January 22, 2017

Op-ed | Struggle to keep the lights on

It is not only the maladministration of municipalities – there are other contributing systemic factors connected to their failure to pay for the power they use...
Energy GovernancePublicationsReportsState Reform
January 25, 2015

Hollowing out the local state: Managerialism and Skills in the Water Sector

In large parts of South Africa, the management of municipal water and sanitation is in crisis. There are regular media reports of interrupted water supply and dysfunctional sanitation systems. These…