South Africa
Voluntary National Review 2019
  • South Africa’s first Voluntary National Review (VNR) is testimony to the national commitment to the full and integrated implementation of Agenda 2030 and includes multi-stakeholder contributions. The review will assist in understanding the impact of policies and programmes towards realising sustainable development and the considerable developmental challenges that remain. The shortcomings highlighted - particularly the need to improve multi-stakeholder engagement - will be addressed.  A national coordinating mechanism has been established for national engagements and reporting on the 2030 Agenda, the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Southern African Development Community’s Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan, in alignment with the National Development Plan (NDP).
  • Achieving the SDGs is in South Africa’s interest.   TheNDP is closely aligned to the 2030 Agenda. The NDP prioritises the elimination of poverty, reduction of inequality and growing an inclusive economy by 2030. NDP goals are aligned to SDGs and to AU Agenda 2063, and are integrated into Government planning systems and processes at national, provincial and local level.
  • Significant progress on our developmental journey since the advent of democracy in 1994: The country is therefore well placed towards meeting the SDGs. The NDP has contributed to improved living conditions for millions of South Africans in a context where, for historical reasons, South Africa is amongst the most unequal of societies.
  • Progress in critical areas such as the provision of clean water, electricity, sanitation, education and health: Access to free education for children from poor households has been expanded - over 9 million children attend no-fee schools.  Individuals benefiting from the social protection system increased: from 3 million in 1994 to 17,5 million in 2018. South Africa has the biggest anti-retroviral treatment programme in the world - over 4.5 million people. Inclusive growth is being accelerated by increasing levels of investment and measures to create more jobs.
  • Other highlights of progress:
    • Major strides in addressing gender inequalities: Legislative frameworks have been developed aimed at ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls. Representation of women in national parliament has increased: 25% in 1994 to 41% in 2016.  Approximately 35% of permanent judges are women.
    • Acting on climate change. Implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement is of paramount importance.   A suite of legislation and policies have been adopted, including a carbon tax, to address climate change and to enhance the country’s ability to adapt to ongoing environmental changes. Significant investments are made in renewable energy, cleaner public transport, energy efficiency, waste management and land restoration initiatives. 
    • Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, particularly for the poor. South Africa is among leaders in the transition to sustainable energy by 2030.
    • Conserving the use of oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.  Measures are implemented to sustainably manage considerable national marine resources to boost economic growth, job creation and infrastructural development.
    • An Integrated Urban Development Framework has been adopted to guide the development of inclusive, resilient and liveable urban settlements.
    • Continued investment in and harnessing of science, technology and innovation. In the spirit of leaving no one behind, the science, technology and innovation system continues to invest in programmes that advance inclusion of girls, indigenous knowledge holders and innovators.

 Major challenges remain:

    • Persistent high levels of inequalities (SDG 10).
    • Violence against women and femicide continue.
    • Discrimination persists.
    • Securing a just transition to a low carbon economy while a high degree of dependence on fossil fuels prevails.
  • International support is required in the implementation of sustainable development programmes, notwithstanding that the overwhelming majority of development resources are derived nationally and account for the greatest portion of Government spending.
  • We all have a role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  The implementation of SDGs is inclusive and transparent. Working together with all stakeholders and partners we can ensure that a better life for all becomes a reality.

Going towards 2030, critical interventions include: disaggregated data; addressing corruption; improved employment opportunities for the most vulnerable, discriminated sectors in society; strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships; eliminating gender inequalities and gender-based violence; and gauging the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

 

Focal point
Capital Official Primary Focal Point:
Mr. Philip Riley, Deputy Director, Conservation & SDGs, Department of International Relations & Cooperation (DIRCO), Pretoria, South Africa
rileyp@dirco.gov.za

Mission Official:
Ms. Sherina Saran, Counsellor, Political, PM in NY
sarans@dirco.gov.za

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where South Africa is listed as a partner or lead entity in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform
10YFP Sustainable Food Systems Programme

The 10YFP Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFS Programme) is a global multi-stakeholder initiative to accelerate the shift towards more sustainable food systems, all along the food value chain, from farm to fork. Among its focus themes are the promotion of sustainable diets; the reduction of food losses and waste; and strengthening resilient and diverse food production systems. The SFS Programme promotes activities that fall under these topics, in the areas of awareness raising, capacity development as well as facilitating access to knowledge, information and tools. The SFS Programme is one...[more]

Partners
Co-Lead organizations: Switzerland, South Africa, WWF, Hivos Members of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee: Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, Honduras, Netherlands, United States, Biovision Foundation, IISD, IFOAM - Organics International, Global Nature Fund, German Development Institute, Hebrew University, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, ENEA, CIHEAM, FAO, UNEP, UNSCN, Barilla, Foo...[more]
Sustainable Development Goals
Carbon Tax

South Africa instituted an ad valorem CO2 emissions tax on new passenger vehicles in 2010. Source: World Resources Institute (2011) A Compilation of Green Economy Policies, Programs, and Initiatives from Around the World. The Green Economy in Practice: Interactive Workshop 1, February 11th, 2011 South Africa instituted an ad valorem CO2 emissions tax on new passenger vehicles in 2010. The emissions tax applies initially to passenger cars but will be extended to commercial vehicles once agreed CO2 standards for these vehicles have been set. The main objective of this emissions tax is to influ...[more]

Partners
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Equal Pay International Coalition

Equal pay for women and men for work of equal value is central to realizing gender equality and women's economic empowerment, reducing poverty and is beneficial to promote economic growth. EPIC aims to accelerate progress towards SDG target 8.5 by leveraging expertise across a diverse range of stakeholders through concrete actions on the ground and in workplaces.

Partners
ILO, UN Women, OECD, Iceland, Jordan, Switzerland, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Panama, Canada, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), International Organisation of Employers (IOE).
Sustainable Development Goals
IHO Hydrography Capacity Building Programme for Coastal States

The IHO capacity building programme seeks to assess and advise on how countries can best meet their international obligations and serve their own best interests by providing appropriate hydrographic and nautical charting services. Such services directly support safety of navigation, safety of life at sea, efficient sea transportation and the wider use of the seas and oceans in a sustainable way, including the protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, fishing, marine resource exploration and exploitation, maritime boundary delimitation, maritime defence and security, and o...[more]

Partners
International Hydrographic Organization (IGO); 87 IHO Member States (Governments); International Maritime Organization (UN); World Meteorological Organization (UN); International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (NGO)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
International Indian Ocean Expedition 2

Extensive multidisciplinary research undertaking to generate oceanographic, biodiversity and all other relevant data and metadata about the Indian Ocean.

Partners
National Department of Science and Technology, and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Marine Spatial Planning

Establishment of an ocean governance framework that seeks to promote coexistence of all industries that are dependent in the marine environment. Furthermore, to promote a proactive and sustainable ability to measure and monitor the aggregated impacts of those industries to the environment so that they can be kept within the set limit whilst creating a conducive environment for all sustainable development activities.

Partners
National Government Departments which are as follows:- Department of Defence (DoD); Department of Mineral Resources (DMR); Department of Transport (DoT); Department of Trade and Industry (Dti); Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET); Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE). Other partners are both the Government of Norway, and the Germ...[more]
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
National Water Quality Monitoring Program (Estuarine and Marine Environment)

To establish baselines and thresholds for pollutants in the South African estuaries and the marine environment. In addition, to develop a national plan for constant monitoring. Mobile laboratories and a National reference laboratory which is housed at the Walter Sisulu University will be utilised for this undertaking. Governance processes will be coordinated by the Department of Environmental Affairs, and a national water quality monitoring working group made of various stakeholders is in the process of being established.

Partners
Walter Sisulu University (South Africa)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Promoting Urban Low Emission Development Strategies

The Urban-LEDS Project, funded by the European Comission, supports development and implementation of urban low emissions development strategies (LEDS) to address climate change in partnership between UN-Habitat and ICLEI. The objective of the Project is to enhance the transition to low emission urban development in four emerging economy countries, Brazil, Indonesia, India and South Africa. In each of those countries the project supports two Model Cities, receiving intensive assistance to develop LEDS, plus four to six 'Satellite Cities' that engaged to a lesser degree. A handful of European ci...[more]

Partners
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, European Comission, Government of Brazil, Government of South Africa, Partnering local and regional administrations,
Sustainable Development Goals
South Africa's New Growth Path - Green Economy Accord

The Government and its social partners signed the Green Economy Accord on 17 November 2011 as an outcome of social dialogue on the New Growth Path. Source: The Accord launches a green partnership to create large numbers of jobs, provide a spur for industrialisation and help to create a sustainable future for this and the next generation. It is one of a series of agreements in which social partners commit to work together to achieve the goals of the New Growth Path. The Accord helps lay a basis for greater employment creation and equality, and sets out how South Africans can participate in the...[more]

Partners
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
The Medium Term Strategic Framework

South Africa has set The Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) for 2009-2014 to mitigate climate change . Source: This Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF, 2009 ? 2014) builds on successes of the 15 years of democracy. It is a statement of intent, identifying the development challenges facing South Africa and outlining the medium-term strategy for improvements in the conditions of the life of South Africans and for our enhanced contribution to the cause of building a better world. The Framework is designed to guide policy and the programme of action over the period of five years For more...[more]

Partners
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
The National Framework for Sustainable Development

The purpose of the National Framework on Sustainable Development is to enunciate South Africa's national vision for sustainable development and indicate strategic interventions to re-orientate South Africa's development path in a more sustainable direction. It proposes a national vision, principles and areas for strategic intervention that will enable and guide the development of the national strategy and action plan. Source: Department of Environmental Affairs, Republic of South Africa It proposes five strategic focus areas for intervention. ...[more]

Partners
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
The SEED Initiative: Supporting Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development

The SEED Initiative inspires, supports and researches exceptional, entrepreneurial, nascent, multi-stakeholder partnerships for locally-led sustainable development . The initiative focuses on 'business as unusual' - innovative action delivering real solutions through project cooperation among small and large businesses, local and international NGOs, women's groups, labour organisations, public authorities and UN agencies, and others working in the field of sustainable development. The SEED Initiative aims to: support outstanding and innovative start-up entrepreneurs working in partnership in ...[more]

Partners
Governments: Government of Germany - Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation & Nuclear Safety Government of India - Ministry of Environment and Forests Government of Netherlands - Ministry for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Government of Norway - Ministry of Foreign Affairs Government of South Africa - Department of Science & Technology Government of Spain - Min...[more]
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Working for Water Program

The "Working for Water" public program created 25,000 green jobs for previously unemployed people in the removal of high water-consuming invasive vegetation. Source: UNEP (2011) Green Economy . Advisory Services. Working for Water is a government program in South Africa that was founded in 1995 to clear alien invasive plants while providing social services and rural employment. Alien invasive plants tend to be heavy water users in South Africa?s arid climate, so their removal frees water resources for both human needs and the environment. In addition to the specific problem of alien plants, t...[more]

Partners
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Statements
5 Jun 2018
17 Jul 2017
13 Jul 2017
13 Jul 2017
11 Jul 2017
10 Jul 2017
6 Jun 2017
21 Jun 2012
12 May 2011
11 May 2011
13 May 2010
13 May 2010
12 May 2010
7 May 2010
5 May 2010
9 May 2008
8 May 2008
7 May 2008
10 May 2007
2 May 2007
2 May 2007
1 May 2007
1 May 2007
1 May 2007
9 May 2006
5 May 2006
4 May 2006
3 May 2006
1 May 2006
1 May 2006
21 Apr 2005
12 Apr 2005
11 Apr 2005
21 Apr 2004
19 Apr 2004
2 Sep 2002
26 Aug 2002
United Nations