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4.7 million jobs could be created by 2050 across energy sectors in Africa through a shift to renewable energy?

By Lerato Tsotetsi

Did you know that 4.7 million jobs could be created by 2050 across energy sectors in Africa through a shift to renewable energy?

There is massive potential for job creation in a just transition to renewable energy, and South Africa’s unemployed youth are eager to join the workforce. Economists and scientists have conducted vigorous job market research and concluded that the renewable energy sector would provide more jobs if given a chance. An ambitious energy transition in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C target is projected to generate about 60% more energy-sector jobs globally.

There’s no question about it – South Africa is in a crisis exacerbated by load shedding. According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the first quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate was 63.9% for those aged 15-24 and 42.1% for those aged 25-34 years, while the current official national rate stands at 34.5%.

Like a domino effect, poverty has increased, with almost one-in-five households reporting going hungry regularly. Meanwhile, the South African government still hasn’t opened the doors for youth employment in renewable energy.

Direct employment in projects under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Programme rose from 17,800 jobs in 2014 to 45,450 by mid-2019. Eighty-two per cent of these jobs were in construction, the remainder in operations.

Imagine the possibilities if the South African government would make enough investments in renewable energy. The answer to stabilising our energy system and creating jobs for the youth is renewable energy – and it would also address the climate crisis.

Let’s demand transparency and accountability from decision-makers.

The youth can revitalise the South African economy by increasing participation in governance, building a robust social system, and encouraging hope.

I’ll see you there!

[1] South Africa’s youth continues to bear the burden of unemployment
[2] There is nothing wrong with Eskom…Not!

Lerato Tsotetsi is Supporter Engagement Manager, at Greenpeace Africa!



Mzukona Mantshontsho is the founder of Nyakaza Media Solutions. Nyakaza Media Solutions is an organisation that was established to help community organisations, business entities, and schools to research, write, document, report, analyse, edit, publish newsletters or bulletins in hard-copy, on-line and maintain websites with the relevant content as per the editorial policy of that organisation, school or entity. Nyakaza Media Solutions has a vision to promote and bring dialogue to communities, businesses and schools about issues that affect them. Nyakaza Media Solutions is on a mission to develop and encourage communities, businesses and learners to celebrate the good, applaud excellence, welcome growth, strive to be better individuals, businesses and communities, want more knowledge, discourage bad and counter-productive behaviour as well as communities, businesses and learners that want to be great SOUTH AFRICANS. Nyakaza Media Solutions is making use of Yo School Magazine as a platform that learners in all schools to make use of to write their stories.

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