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  • Seminar,

Johanna Choumert-Nkolo (EDI Global)

Published on May 27, 2022 Updated on June 2, 2022
Le 31 May 2022 De 12:30 à 13:30
Pôle Tertiaire - Site La Rotonde - 26 avenue Léon Blum - 63000 Clermont-Ferrand
Room 212

Research seminar. Internal Migration and Energy Poverty in South Africa.

Internal Migration and Energy Poverty in South Africa

Co-author: Leonard le Roux.


Despite recent progress, energy poverty remains pervasive in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This challenge is generally more severe in rural areas. However, rapid urbanization adds on a significant challenge to often under-capacitated urban local authorities that struggle to provide services to new urban dwellers. In the case of South Africa and other SSA countries, this has resulted in a proliferation of under-serviced informal urban settlements on the urban periphery, where a lack of energy access is compounded with a lack of access to other services and job opportunities to result in sites of concentrated and multidimensional deprivation. In this paper, we present the first analysis of the relationship between rural-urban migration and energy poverty in South Africa, and to our knowledge in Africa, using a nationally representative panel dataset. Using a difference in differences approach, we track energy poverty changes for both migrants and non-migrants over a 10-year period. We find that on average, moving to urban areas results in reductions in energy poverty for migrants themselves, with especially dramatic reductions in the use of traditional cooking fuels. However, roughly one in five new urban arrivals move into informal shack dwellings where the gains from migration are negligible from an energy poverty perspective given the rapid increase in grid access and access to electrical appliances taking place in South African rural areas.

Read the paper