The rise of a green economy, and how it impacts job creation in South Africa

green economy - South Africagreen economy - South Africa
green economy - South Africagreen economy - South Africa

The rise of a green economy, and how it impacts job creation in South Africa

Unemployment is one of the biggest issues South Africans face today, and the numbers keep increasing. According to an article published by IOL, unemployment figures in South Africa have escalated to 30,1 percent in the first quarter of 2020. And, the youth unemployment rate has doubled in comparison to those who are between the ages 45 to 54 years old.

These figures show that economic development is vital in South Africa; it ensures a more flexible labour market that can hire more individuals. Green economy in South Africa can be a beneficial economic development that can help eradicate unemployment and poverty in the country, while also ensuring the environment is being well looked after. Previous practices have caused damage to the environment such as; water, forestry and agriculture. With green economic growth, sustainability can be made a priority, thus allowing sectors that were previously, and harshly, affected by the infrastructure to rebuild and create employment.

See how a green economy can impact job creation in South Africa.


Creates a space for innovative thinking

With any new implementations made, it ensures an opportunity for innovation and technological change in the country. The same applies with a green economy; this economic development can ensure that additional business ideas are bred, and can help create smarter and effective ways to deal with current issues that may come with green infrastructure development.

When there is a chance for innovation, there is a chance for employment, which opens up the labour market. Not only for skilled workers, who will have to do the hard labour, but for young professionals who have the qualifications to enter a new job market and contribute to innovation. The opportunity for innovation also ensures the longevity of the job market as thinkers will continue to grow and expand.


Open the market with green jobs

A green job refers to a job that contributes to a more sustainable world. This can be from an organisation or self-made individuals. Again, this will open up the market for informal and formal workers, such as an organic farmer or a solar engineer. Not only will it be sustainable and futuristic jobs, but it will be inclusive as it doesn't exclude individuals who did not further their education. Instead, green jobs allow people from any background to have an opportunity to start their own business or work for a company which offers green jobs.


More work for labour workers

As mentioned above, a green economy is inclusive, which is beneficial for youth empowerment as well as ensuring a sustainable economy. Different types of infrastructure will be needed when South Africa launches into a greener economy. Sustainable and eco-friendly buildings will be built; which in turn means that there will be a need for skilled workers who will help build infrastructure. That already elevates unemployment in South Africa as construction, manufacturing and consulting companies will have higher demand and will need to employ more workers. More jobs will be needed once economic activity starts, and because South Africa still has a long way to go in terms of building a green economy, this will not only create jobs, but it will also ensure that South Africa’s unemployment rate decreases in the long run.


Create demand in supply chain

Since new infrastructure and developments will be made once South Africa transitions, there will be an increase in demand for supply chains. New products and services will be needed to build infrastructure. This means that apart from manufacturing, construction and consulting, there will be a need for additional workers in the supply chain, which not only indirectly helps employees keep their job, but it also helps employers seek more employment. This is especially the case if businesses can see that a green economy has long term benefits as they will be more eager to expand their business and hire more workers.


Final thoughts

To ensure economic development in South Africa, there needs to be a change. And, that change should not only be beneficial for the economy and employment, but also to the environment. Green growth should not only be implemented to close the unemployment gap but to ensure that the Earth is being taken care of, so that industries can continue to operate. It is important to not forget that the majority of the industries that help the country’s GDP; agriculture, forestry as well as the fishing industry need environmental resources. This is why the change to a green economy is so important.

green economy - South Africa