Developing bankable proposals for local climate action in South Africa


A major hurdle for scalable climate action at the local level is accessing substantial and reliable financing. This is especially true for small, under-resourced municipalities without dedicated grant writers with climate technical expertise. V-LED is working to dismantle barriers to local climate finance and recently held an event in South Africa to coach representatives from local government in successful proposal writing. 

The workshop was hosted and facilitated by V-LED implementing partner Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA) in Johannesburg on 9-10 October 2018.

Significant financing streams are necessary for the development and implementation of projects as well as the maintenance of capital investment and operational funds to climate proof existing and future infrastructure. Financial constraints are most severely experienced in the secondary cities and smaller local and rural district municipalities, often with comparatively scarce resources in the country, and most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

In response to this callenge, the V-LED team decided to hold a series of sequential workshops with the three spheres of government to delve into the critical issue of climate finance. Key areas explored included a) sources of finance, both domestic and international, b) the accessibility thereof; and 3) the development of proposals for bankable projects.

This event was designed especially for smaller municipalities without the history and institutional knowledge of securing national and international climate finance through competitive proposal writing. As such, the workshop aims were:

  • To assist municipalities identifying relevant and accessible international funding streams for municipal climate action;
  • To explain the funding process from start to finish with an example project; and
  • To explore the finer points of successful proposal writing through a plenary discussion.

Collaborating with the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), a project proposal template was provided to participants to assist municipalities in their own project bids.