Business Leadership South Africa

InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Policy Engagement
Performance Band
Organization Score
All Sectors
Johannesburg, South Africa
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has engaged positively on some renewable energy policy and the transition of the South African energy mix from coal to renewables. However, the organization also appears to support fossil gas as a transition fuel, and appears unsupportive of a carbon tax.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: BLSA’s top-line positions are limited to statements by BLSA CEO Busisiwe Mavuso. In a November 2021 CEO statement, Mavuso recognized the causal relationship between human activity, climate change and climate induced weather phenomena, and acknowledged the acceleration of warming on a global level. In the same statement, Mavuso supported delivering on net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and supported cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with 1.5°C of warming. BLSA does not appear to explicitly support the Paris Agreement or the need for government regulation to respond to climate change.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: BLSA has positively engaged on South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP), however the association appears less supportive of other climate policies, including the South African Carbon Tax. BLSA supported South Africa’s REIPPP in a March 2021 media statement, calling it a “key step” in South Africa’s energy transition. Additionally, CEO Busisiwe Mavuso appeared to call for easier, less bureaucratic pathways for the approval and integration of renewable energy onto the national grid in a February 2022 news release, supporting an overhaul of the REIPPP bidding rounds into one continuous procurement process. In contrast, in an October 2021 CEO newsletter, CEO Busisiwe Mavuso appeared unsupportive of a South African carbon tax, emphasizing the economic consequences of a carbon tax on South Africa’s export industries and calling for recognition of the country’s “unique social and economic challenges”. Furthermore, BLSA signed a joint statement with other South African industry associations in September 2022, expressing their positions on the South African carbon tax proposals under the South African Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB). In the statement, BLSA supported the extension of phase 1 of the tax to 2023, called for lower tax rates from 2023-25, supported introducing free allocations and subsidies up to 2030, and advocated for a delay in increasing the carbon price until post-2035.

Positioning on Energy Transition: BLSA supports the transition of South Africa’s energy mix from coal to renewables, but also appears to support fossil gas as a transition fuel. In a March 2021 media statement, BLSA supported increased ambition in the licensing threshold of embedded generation, calling for an increase in the threshold from 1MW to 50MW. This license allows independent power producers to own and use their own power production facilities, and opens the door for further renewable power generation in South Africa. Further to this, in a March 2022 CEO newsletter, BLSA CEO Busisiwe Mavuso supported a further increase in the licensing threshold to 100MW, which was implemented by government in June 2021. In a March 2021 media release, BLSA supported the decarbonization of the energy sector, and appeared to support the transition of South Africa’s energy mix from coal to renewables, however the organization framed this as requiring a market-based approach. BLSA CEO Bususiwe Mavuso also supported the transition from coal to renewables in a March 2022 CEO statement, and supported the early retirement of Eskom’s coal-fired power stations in a November 2021 CEO statement. Furthermore, in a May 2021 CEO statement, Mavuso stated that as coal power becomes more expensive for South African businesses, an opportunity arises to transition the energy mix to renewables.

However, BLSA also appears to support the inclusion of fossil gas in the South African energy mix. In an October 2021 CEO statement, CEO Bususiwe Mavuso appeared to support the transition of the energy mix from coal to fossil gas, labelling fossil gas as a transition fuel without placing clear conditions on the use of carbon capture and storage. BLSA also appeared to support the inclusion of liquified natural gas in South Africa’s energy mix in a March 2021 media statement. Additionally, while BLSA CEO Busisiwe Mavuso appeared to support the expanded role for hydrogen in South Africa in an October 2021 newsletter, she did not articulate a clear position on the decarbonization of hydrogen production.

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