IOA Position Papers

Assessing the role of nuclear in South Africa’s energy strategy

Over the last three decades, nuclear power has faced various challenges toward worldwide implementation. The Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters in the 1970s, 80s and 2010s, respectively, have setback the rollout of further plants around the world, from China to the US. At present, South Africa is the only African country to make use of nuclear power as part of its energy mix. The Koeberg Nuclear Power Station in the Western Cape province provides close to 1,900 MW of power to the central grid, accounting for 5% of total power generation in the country, and 95% of energy generation in the Western Cape.

The South African government has, however, made strides toward increasing the share that nuclear power plays in the country’s electricity generation and has set bold targets of adding an additional 9,6 GW of nuclear energy in the next 15 years. The costs of this additional power have been a big challenge, indicates IOA consultant and professor of political science at UNISA, Jo-Ansie van Wyk. “Typically, a nuclear energy expansion plan such as this requires a long-term relationship and not just a once-off delivery once the power station is operational. A third factor is the preferences of the South African population. Civil society has opposed the nuclear expansion plans and government has seen that civil society will question every decision,” she says.


Jo-Ansie van Wyk is a Professor at UNISA’s Department of Political Science and has been a member of the In On Africa (IOA) team since 2008. Her publications and research experience focus on political leadership in Africa, nuclear diplomacy and energy, environmental politics, and international security.


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Lessons learnt from international public-private partnerships to facilitate Africa’s unemployment

Analysis in brief | Youth unemployment is an international issue. Unemployed youth struggle to access the global job market due to limited experience or requisite vocational skills. Different nations address the youth unemployment crisis using different methods. By adapting and implementing public-private partnership models that have proven successful overseas, resolution of the youth unemployment conundrum on the African continent can be reached.

The data was taken from a survey of 1425 respondents. The project was undertaken by IOA and Columinate in preparation for Voices Unite, soon to be Southern Africa’s largest youth-driven study. Graphic designed by: IOA


Key points:

  • Public-private partnerships are helping to resolve youth unemployment and are effective in assisting youth seeking employment
  • Developed and developing countries are turning to public-private partnerships to combat youth unemployment
  • Many countries offer tax benefits to companies involved, when public-private partnerships are formed and businesses commit to providing internship opportunities for the youth

Youth unemployment is a well-documented and growing concern in South Africa and compounds increasing frustrations with the quality of education in the country. In On Africa (IOA) is currently working with several companies, organisations and individuals on plans to stimulate and facilitate positive changes in South Africa’s youth sector, including a focus on youth unemployment.

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African Leadership Matters – An IOA Position Paper Series

New leadership for a new African future

– Margaret Kenyatta, Kenya’s First Lady
By Prof Jo-Ansie van Wyk (1)

Kenyatta includes environmental issues in her work, breaking the traditional role set by preceding African first ladies. Image courtesy: WildlifeDirect. Available at:

Africa’s sustainability and human development largely depends on the continent’s natural resources. However, the beginning of the 21st century saw an escalation of wildlife crimes in Africa. Since its independence, Kenya has been at the forefront of the environmental agenda on the continent, with Kenya’s Richard Leakey, founder of WildlifeDirect, and Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai of the Green Belt Movement, amongst others, recognised for this. In addition to this, the headquarters of the United Nations Environmental Programme is also located in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. Despite this, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Red List of Threatened Species says that the highest number of threatened species of birds, mammals and fish is in Kenya. The number of elephants poached in Kenya since 2011 (298) has significantly increased from 2012 (384) to 2014 (1,000), with the country’s elephant population dropping from 160,000 (1975) to 35,000 (2015).

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The growing importance of using social media for job seeking in South Africa

Analysis in brief | Social media is becoming increasingly necessary in the job seeking process in South Africa, as competitiveness in the job market grows.

The transformation of South African recruitment Infographic courtesy Patrick Traynor, LinkedIn

Key points

  • Social media platforms are useful in job-seeking, not just the career-focused platforms such as LinkedIn
  • Many employers access personal information online from social media platforms and use this as a screening process for potential employees
  • Social media can be used to one’s advantage when looking for employment if managed correctly

With the expansion of online networking, South African companies are using social media to market and advertise their businesses, as well as to screen prospective employees. Social media platforms which incorporate websites and applications that enable users to create and share content and participate in social networking, are beneficial to the job-seeking process. Networking on social media platforms plays an important role in linking 21st century job-seekers to potential employers by enhancing a candidate’s profile. The various platforms are categorised according to their uses. Facebook and LinkedIn are part of the social networking category, while Twitter is part of the micro bloggers, and Instagram falls under photo sharing.

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No future for Africa without planning – urban planning that is

Analysis in brief / Groaning under the weight of unplanned growth, African cities struggle to be habitable. Taking urban planning seriously will become vitally necessary as the continent’s population becomes larger and more urban. The key is intelligent city planning, starting at the drawing board.

One Ethiopian entrepreneur tackled Addis Ababa congestion by opening Africa’s first smart parking facility at US$ 2.2million. Using smart phones and credit cards, customers pay less than two US cents and order their cars to be lifted into slots that accommodate 90 cars in a space that used to hold only nine. Image courtesy: The Reporter. Available at:

 Key points

  • African cities have been allowed to grow ungainly and unsafe as, for decades, local and national officials have been commissioned and then city planning studies were ignored
  • A growing African middle-class is demanding more liveable cities and applying political pressure on local and national officials to improve urban environments
  • Stricter zoning and green technology will bring investors to cities, generating revenues for urban improvements

Most African cities were not meant to be – that is, they were planned as congenial little ‘white’s only’” colonial towns that were never intended to be giant metropolises hosting millions of residents. When colonialism ended, urban migrants brought country dwellers in search of jobs to cities where they were now legally permitted to live. No thought went into where the new millions would live, how utility services would be provided, or for social necessities from parks to schools. The result was chaos – cities choked by pollution and traffic nightmares, and festering with township slums much larger than developed central business districts. In June 2017, the World Bank released another of its periodic reports on Uganda’s urban situation and blamed poor city planning for contributing to high unemployment. For one thing, potential investors are off-put by the dilapidated physical appearance of Kampala. Co-sponsored by the Kampala Capital City Authority, the study, “Enhancing economic development and job creation in greater Kampala” found transportation systems and building codes also failed to support a business-friendly environment.

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