2. For a variety of reasons, climate change has become an important policy-making issue for
most countries today. Explain why climate change has become an important issue in public
policy making in South Africa. (10)
3. Consider the varied and complex nature of the potential challenges that climate change
poses to policy makers. Identify and discuss one possible social or economic benefit to
South Africa of the successful implementation of the South African Climate Change
Response Strategy. (10)
IMPORTANCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AS A PUBLIC POLICYMAKER IN SOUTH AFRICA
Climate change has posed risk not only to human health but also to the ecosystems, social systems and economic development. Adaptation of the potential effects of climate changes is a complex and still running process requiring actions by individuals, communities, government and international agencies as a whole. For this reasons climate change has played a very significant role in the public policy-making in South Africa and the policymakers have taken much of their time to gather useful information about possible consequences of climate change in South Africa from peoples perceptions of whether the effects are beneficial or disastrous, available adaptation options and the benefits of slowing the rate of climate change. In this discussion, we shall view just how climate change has become of great significance in making public policy as well as how has it benefited both the social and the economic field of South Africa.
South Africa contributes minute to climate change but it is widely recognized as one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change because of low level of adaptive capacity indulged with a high dependency on rain-fed agriculture and as a result, this has posed the biggest threat to public health in the country. Public health threats are events with the potential to adversely affect the health of the human population and community. AS per the 2009 report, published by ACTSA climate change is exacerbating the effects of infectious diseases in South Africa, this has been generated by high temperatures, longer rainy seasons and inadequate rainwater drainage tends to create the perfect incubation conditions for mosquito-borne diseases particularly malaria and even cholera. Due to these risk factors, climate change has become of huge importance in making the public policies and designing principles that will prevent the community as well as the population from being attacked by such issues.
Despite the challenges that the climatic changes have to constitute within the country, they have also created both social and economic benefits to South Africa due to the successful implementation of the climate change response, one of them being the development of a sustainable energy program which could offer much support to the future coming generations this has been accrued by the department of minerals and energy department that has developed a white paper program on renewable energy and clean energy development due to greenhouse emissions in the country.
In conclusion, the volume and the quality of research are disappointing and disproportionate to the threat posed by climate change in South Africa. This is rather astonishing given that the requisite expertise for policy advocacy, identifying effective interventions and implementing responses to climate change rest within the public sector. More effective use of data and research work would ensure better research methods are applied in responding to climatic changes as well as in the public policy amendment sectors.
Lse.ac.uk. 2021. [online] Available at: <https://www.lse.ac.uk/granthaminstitute/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/GRI_Governance-of-climate-change-policy_SA-case-study_policy-report_40pp.pdf> [Accessed 16 June 2021].
Garland, R., 2021. National policy response to climate change in South Africa. [online] Scielo.org.za. Available at: <http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742014000800031> [Accessed 16 June 2021].