South Africa faces interconnected challenges of developing and diversifying its economy and adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change. A green policy tilt is ascendant in the country, manifest in a cascading array of policies and special initiatives. Utilising concepts from the multi-level perspective on socio-technical transitions, we assess Africa's first designated Green Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Atlantis SEZ (ASEZ) in the Western Cape, a niche innovation aimed at transforming the Province's industrial base. This initiative is very ambitious in four respects: (1) it links green SEZ development in a deprived metropolitan area to the broader regional economy; (2) it utilises an innovative governance structure; (3) it promises localization economies and export potential; and (4) it connects SEZ niche experimentation with emergent renewable energy regimes. While elements are in place which might seed a sociotechnical transition, societal and political forces (i.e. landscape features) continue to limit its realisation, highlighting the immanent, structural realities shaping South Africa's economic futures.
Journal of Modern African Studies
Grant, Richard; Carmody, Pádraig; and Murphy, James T., "A green transition in South Africa? Sociotechnical experimentation in the Atlantis Special Economic Zone" (2020). Geography. 387.
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Must link to publisher version with DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022278X20000208