Environment & Water Sector in South Africa

Environment & Water Sector in South Africa

South Africa is a market more open than ever to new technologies, management systems and innovation in environmental goods and services.

Market overview

92% of South Africa’s energy comes from coal. 90% of waste in South Africa goes to landfill. The overall size of the South African environmental goods and services market is nearly £3 billion.

Key areas for development include:

  • Waste Management & Recycling

  • Carbon Capture and Storage

  • Environmental Management Systems

  • Healthcare Waste

  • Carbon Mapping

  • Renewable Energy

  • Water supply and Security

Regulations introduced in August 2010 under the National Environment Management Act add to the government’s growing awareness in addressing the environmental impact of Africa’s largest economy. Meeting the challenging targets laid out is a top priority. The 2012 Climate Change Response Act and 2012 Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (IPPPP) have also put a greater emphasis and requirement on those in South Africa to develop more energy efficient business practices, general energy use and production.

Key opportunities

  • Supply chain opportunities supporting the IPPPP until 2016

  • A national target to reduce the amount of ‘Big 5’ waste products (plastics, cans, paper, glass and tyres) going to landfill by 70% by 2022, and to have plans in place to minimise and treat the remaining 30%.

  • 27% of water is lost through poor infrastructure, 60% linked to residential usage. Infrastructure repair is a key opportunity.

  • Acid Mine Drainage is a national issue. UKTI expects the Department of Water Affairs will announce a tender programme during 2014 to provide treatment solutions.

Latest export opportunities in the Environment & Water sector

Latest export opportunities in South Africa

Getting into the market

Much of South Africa’s legal, economic and business practices and legislation is based on the UK equivalents. This makes operating in South Africa less problematic and alien than in other international markets. Regulatory standards also tend to mirror EU equivalents and the cultural and historical links are broadly positive in the UK’s favour. In return the UK sees 4 out of every 5 South African investment projects in Europe. South does operate a policy of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment to redress the imbalances to black employment under the apartheid regime

More about doing business in South Africa


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

Duncan Hoyland, Trade & Investment Advisor UKTI Johannesburg

T: +27 (11) 537 7209 ; F: +27 (11) 537 7257 ; E: [email protected]

.Contact your local international trade team

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events in the Education sector

Major Events

Water Institute of South Africa

Date: May 2014

Website address: www.ewisa.co.za

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Energy, Environment & Water
Countries: South Africa
Export Action Plan