Supporting the Green Economy in the Western Cape: A Case Study Evaluation of the Cluster Organization GreenCape in the Western Cape Cleantech Sector

Nina Elisabet Krebs & Pernille Juhl Dagø

Student thesis: Master thesis


Confronted with a number of international and national challenges, including a lasting energy crisis in 2007, enduring high economic and social inequality levels from the apartheid era as well as various international pressures, South Africa has begun a move towards a green economy. One initiative to support the green economy by attracting investments and creating jobs was the establishment of the cluster organization GreenCape in the Western Cape cleantech cluster in 2010. Hence, this dissertation set out to answer following three research questions: 1. How is the cleantech cluster in the Western Cape Province organized in terms of its history and economic system?, 2. Why was GreenCape initiated? and, 3. how do GreenCape´s stakeholders perceive GreenCape in terms of its effectiveness, relevance, impact, efficiency, joint action, and sustainability? The dissertation is an exploratory case study of the cluster organization GreenCape, and primarily based on empirical data gathered from 13 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders of GreenCape on a field trip to South Africa from June 20 till July 3 2016. The analysis was conducted through the application of three theoretical frameworks, each based on a wider theoretical background, providing us with a structure for analyzing the data analysis in accordance with our three research questions. The three frameworks include a UNIDO cluster mapping framework, a four-stage life cycle framework, and a OECD based evaluation framework. Overall the findings of this dissertation show that GreenCape has fared well since its initiation and that it is recognized by the cleantech cluster stakeholders as an important organization in the cluster. We uncovered that GreenCape was initiated based on various events converging in 2010 on the international, national and provincial level and that GreenCape has grown rapidly since, expanding its focus areas from purely renewable energy to include cleantech sectors such as waste. This trend is also closely reflected in the wider Western Cape cleantech cluster where GreenCape operates. Furthermore, our findings showed that while the governmental entities hold GreenCape in high esteem, most of the private company stakeholders had in reality engaged very little with GreenCape. Finally, we discovered that there is a wish for GreenCape to focus more on supporting up-coming cleantech sectors, especially the waste sector, and to develop more people-driven solutions.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages163
SupervisorsPeter Lund-Thomsen