The Transformation of Governance in the South African Energy Sector: Critical Considerations for Gender Mainstreaming

Citation:

Nel, D., and C. Joel. 2019. “The Transformation of Governance in the South African Energy Sector: Critical Considerations for Gender Mainstreaming.” Journal of Contemporary Management 16 (1): 313-32.

Authors: D. Nel, C. Joel

Abstract:

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, views gender equality as a basic human right. SDG 5 emphasises that the end of discrimination in all sectors across the globe, is essential to achieve SDG 5. SDG 7 calls for affordable and clean energy. Consequently, affordable energy and energy efficiency is a basic prerequisite for socio-economic development, whereas clean energy, is an essential component for preventing environmental degradation and resource depletion. Based on these SDGs, it is important that equal rights in terms of gender be reflected in the energy sector to achieve sustainable development. Gender inequality limits womans’ opportunities to participate in policy- and decision-making in terms of energy resource governance. Gender mainstreaming addresses the inequality of women and therefore implies a shift in the role of women in the energy sector. This article aims to discuss the interrelationship of the energy sector and gender mainstreaming, to work towards achieving SDGs 5 and 7. The analysis in this article is based on a qualitative approach, using unobtrusive research techniques. Data was collected through a desktop study, using secondary data, including scholarly papers and books, reports from the United Nations, ministerial websites, relevant news articles, unsolicited government reports and policies. An analysis was done to determine the development of the level of female representation at the executive decision-making level in the energy sector in South Africa. The results indicate that male representation is higher than female representation’, which may indicate, unequal access to participation in energy resource governance, which would reinforce an unequal gender power balance. Although there has been an improved effort from government in terms of gender mainstreaming and empowerment, a number of barriers remain, including a lack of gender-sensitive policies, awareness, information, and employment equity. The South African government has made some progress in terms of gender mainstreaming and there seems to be improvement in some areas in the energy value chain. However, these efforts have been fragmented and disjointed and not much has been achieved in terms of gender mainstreaming in the policy process and implementation.

Keywords: energy governance, energy resource management, gender mainstreaming, Sustainable Development Goals

Topics: Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2019

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