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#Budget2020: Renewable Energy can save South African economy

The Green Building Council South Africa welcomes Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s commitment to do “whatever it takes” to ensure a stable electricity supply to grow the South African economy, because painful change is required.

The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) welcomes Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s commitment to do “whatever it takes” to ensure a stable electricity supply to grow the South African economy, because painful change is required.

“There is a realisation that the economy is standing still. If government leave it as it is it will get worse. They have to do something,” said Ian Cruickshanks, Chief Economist at the Institute of Race Relations, about Minister Mboweni’s 2020 budget speech.

As part of the R230-billion allocated to rebuild South Africa’s energy sector during the next decade, cheap, plentiful and clean electricity must be introduced to a stable, reliable grid. South Africa has decades’ of coal, but burning more of it quicker will not resolve its crisis. Renewable power is able to add momentum to the economy, not only through the jobs it creates but through the cheaper electricity it supplies, bringing down the cost of business.

So it is understandable why Minister Mboweni is widening the window of opportunity for Independent Power Producers (IPP) to be commissioned by accelerating Bid Window 4 of the renewable energy programme, and rightly anticipates technological advancement to keep driving down the costs while increasing the capacity of new plants.

But the reality of South Africa’s present energy crisis requires bolder action. “Regrettably renewables are not being treated as a primary urgency, as they should be,” said Cruickshanks.

Minister Mboweni recognises that renewable energy can be commissioned quicker, cheaper and as reliably than coal, but makes no mention of the relatively simple task of amplifying existing IPP capacity through better regulation to enable appropriate distribution grid capacity upgrades; utilise the extra power generated by the growing number of IPPs and; update billing mechanisms to allow consumers who generate some or all of their electricity to use that electricity at any time.

Carbon tax was acknowledged as a source of revenue, but the question remains of how government will subject Eskom to the same tax requirements as those who use its carbon-intense electricity.

“As IPPs can prove their cost effectiveness, the pace of acceptability of change will multiply,” Cruickshanks concludes. “At this stage there is no attention paid to the long term endeavours required [to change the trajectory of the local economy]. It’s a tragedy.”

Individual Membership

Designed for professionals acting in their individual capacity, including single consultant-businesses.

Organisational Membership

Ideal for companies, government departments, and organisations.

  • Total Employees: 1 - 5 Employees - R 4080.00
  • Total Employees: 6 - 20 Employees - R 12570.00
  • Total Employees: 21 - 50 Employees - R 24690.00
  • Total Employees: 51 Plus Employees - R 43840.00

Lisa Reynolds

Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director

Lisa Reynolds is the CEO of the Green Building Council South Africa.

Lisa was the driver for the drafting of Energy Efficiency Standards and Regulations for Buildings and has been involved in Energy Efficiency since 2003. She serves on many committees in the SABS and within the energy management professionals’ space. She was President of the SAEEC from 2016 to 2019 and was the previous President of the ESCo (Energy Services Companies) Association. Lisa was instrumental in the formation of SAFEE (Southern African Females in Energy Efficiency) within SAEEC.

She has assisted the South African Government with its Green Building Framework policies, Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives and Energy Efficiency Strategies

Her passion for the “Green space” started with the birth of the Green Building Council in 2007. Lisa served on the Board and the Technical Committee of the GBCSA, as well as on several Technical Working Groups for Rating Tools and Criteria. Lisa. became CEO in June 2020.

Lisa has a BSc, an MBA and a CEM. Lisa’s awards include the 2007 ETA Award for Women, 2008 Individual Energy (SAEE), 2012 SABS Standards Writer Award; the 2014 Women in Energy (SAWIEN); and the 2016 Ian Lane Hall of Fame award.

Lisa is committed to growing the Green Economy within a Green Recovery.

Organisational categories

As an organisational member, you will fall into one of the below categories, and be charged according to specific size indicators. Please reach out to us for any further clarity on which category is best for your organisation

Property Developers

Annual Turnover

Investors, Owners, Property Managers

Total Asset Value

Major Corporate Tenants & Retail

Annual Gross Rentals

Building Contractors

Annual Turnover

Building Product Manufacturers & Distributors

Annual Turnover

Professional Services: Architects, Designers, Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, PM’s, Consultants, Legal

Number of employees

Research, Higher Education, NGO’S & Regulators

NGO or Research/Higher Education/ Regulators

Related Interests: Utilities, Financial, Insurance, etc.

Annual Turnover


Local/ municipal/ provincial/ state 
Contact GBCSA to confirm your category