Implementing the South African free basic alternative energy policy: a dynamic actor interaction

Nthabiseng Mohlakoana

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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The majority of households without grid electricity in South Africa are located in low-income rural and urban areas. Being located in the remote rural areas makes it expensive to extend the grid and often locks such households into energy poverty where they are forced to use traditional fuels which expose them to unhealthy and difficult living conditions. The Free Basic Alternative Energy (FBAE) policy is aimed at providing alternative energy service to households without grid electricity with the hope of alleviating their energy poverty burden. This study examines how the FBAE policy is implemented in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape by the five local municipalities under the jurisdiction of the OR Tambo District. Through the use of the Contextual Interaction Theory (CIT) this study analyses how the three-actor groups (implementing actors, target actors and linking actors) and their characteristics (motivations, cognitions, capacity and power) influence the FBAE policy implementation process. Through this analysis, the complexity of policy implementation processes is revealed by highlighting the influence of the dynamic actor-interaction. By focusing on several actors and the influencing factors, this study moves away from the often accepted assumption that policy implementation processes mainly fail due to lack of resources. The analysis shows that actor motivations in terms of goals, their cognitions in terms of information as well as their capacity and power all play an important role in the success and failure of a policy implementation process.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Bressers, Hans T.A., Supervisor
  • Clancy, Joy Sheila, Co-Supervisor
Award date11 Dec 2014
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-3797-1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2014


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