In South Africa, the energy sector contributes to the national GDP as much as agriculture. Its coal-fired power stations, however, emit millions of tons of carbon dioxide. Adopting viable pollution control schemes that will not preclude development throughout the country is now the prevailing challenge.
Hydropower plants currently contribute only 0.4% to current electricity generation because of limiting factors such as the quantity and variability of surface water. However, South Africa has prioritized hydropower development to manage electricity demand peaks within the South Africa Development Community (SADC) context.
The SADC is a regional economic community that aims to combat poverty, ensure food security, and promote industrial development through the integration of the regional economies.