Financial Subordination and Postcolonial Geographies of Renewable Energy Finance in South Africa: A Critique of the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan




renewable energy, finance, Africa, South Africa, postcolonialism, racial capitalism, financial subordination


The renewable energy market is expanding in Africa, along with funding from the West for numerous projects on renewable energy. In this article, I problematise renewable energy finance in Africa, with a specific focus on the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan in South Africa, building on and contributing to literature on financial subordination and geographies of renewables finance. I critically analyse, through a desktop study and documentary analysis of the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan, how racial capitalism continues through postcolonial renewable financing for electricity generation in South Africa, driving private sector participation in the public sector, under a neocolonialist framework. First, I draw on literature focusing on race and postcolonialism in Africa regarding financing of renewable energy. Second, I critically assess South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Partnership and Investment Plan from a critical theory perspective. I argue for an understanding of renewable energy financing through the lens of postcolonial financial subordination that not only continues colonial logic but furthers the racialisation of capitalism in South Africa along lines benefitting the West and its interests through the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan, and the capitalist class in South Africa.


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How to Cite

Blissett, Lev. 2023. “Financial Subordination and Postcolonial Geographies of Renewable Energy Finance in South Africa: A Critique of the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan”. Politeia 42 (1):17 pages .



Received 2023-12-01
Accepted 2023-12-19
Published 2023-12-28