Letter from the Editor 27 October 2016

As we enter the second half of 2016, reflection is necessary. The world has experienced significant shifts in the last 6 months, both locally and globally. In our line of work, the question that always interests us is what we have learnt, specifically through social research, that enables us to make better investments in development. In this sense, the release of the Community Survey results by Statistics SA has been amongst the more significant events of the last 6 months.

In it, one finds a lot of worthwhile information about the state of the nation, broken down to the municipal level. Worthy of noting are community perceptions of the most critical challenges facing their municipalities, ranked below:


1. Lack of safe and reliable water supply

2. Lack of or inadequate employment opportunities

3. Cost of electricity

4. Inadequate housing

5. Violence and crime


These results align directly with the findings of Knowledge Pele’s surveys, which sample 400 members of energy communities on a monthly basis. We therefore reflect on these outcomes to ask the question: is the private sector making relevant investments in community development? This question also implicates the state to the extent that it plays the role of the monitoring party.


This is especially critical for industries that derive their license to operate out of the commitment to invest in the development of our most underprivileged and excluded communities.


In this edition then, we share research and insights that are helpful to informing the choices of development practitioners working within the private sector. We also provide critical reflections on the renewable energy sector’s policy framework and its potential pitfalls with respect to harnessing black industrialists. As always, we remain committed to igniting a lively and progressive development discourse, with the aim to assist all who work in the sector to become more engaged professionals and all who have an general interest, to be genuinely informed.


In This Issue…


Policy Matters

1. Why REIPPPP Is Failing To Produce Black Industrialists

2. SED & ED: Is the IPP Office Measuring The Correct Things?


Community Matters

1. Early Childhood Development as the key to Development

2. Reflections of a Community Liaison Office in Training

3. Research Findings: Stakeholder Perceptions in Energy Communities

Book Review: Bad Samaritans by Ha-Joon Chang


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