Kuyasa Clean Development Project, South Africa

Topic: Urban Sustainability

Location: Kuyasa, Khayelitsha township, near Cape Town, South Africa

Environmental Resource Management Dept., City of Cape Town
Cape Town Urban Renewal Program

The Clean Development Mechanism
National Dept. of Environment and Tourism
South African Export Development Fund

Background: Khayelishta township was settled in the 1980s when the apartheid government forced black workers out of Cape Town. The population is estimated 400,000 though the township has an infrastructure capacity meant for only 250,000 persons. About 71% of the population lives below the poverty line, and 32% of housing is informal. Most of the homes in Kuyasa relied on multiple fuels for energy, including paraffin, wood, and electricity.

Project: The Kuyasa CDM Pilot Project retrofitted 2,309 low-cost homes with solar water heaters, insulated ceilings and energy efficient lighting in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa. It was South Africa’s first internationally registered Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project and became the first Gold Standard Project in the world. The Kuyasa project was developed by the NGO SouthSouthNorth for Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Management Department and Urban Renewal Programme. Ten pilot houses were adapted in 2005, providing the practical data for an efficiency measuring system. With funding from the Department of Environment and Tourism’s Social Responsibility Programme and provincial government’s Department of Housing, the retrofit started in August 2008 and was completed in October 2010.

In addition to providing warmer homes and hot water, Kuyasa prevents the production of about 6,580 tons of carbon emissions per year. Through the Clean Development Mechanism, each ton of carbon saved produces a certified emissions reduction credit (CER) that can be sold to industrialized countries to help meet their Kyoto Protocol emissions targets. The project also significantly reduced the amount of paraffin oil burned to heat homes; slashed energy bills; and 76% decrease in respiratory illnesses. has generated substantial interest locally and internationally as a pilot for the energy-efficient adaptation of South African low-cost housing.

Houses served 2,309
Total budget* R33 million (US$4.4 million)
Insulated ceilings R15.18 million/US$2.024 million  (46% of budget)
Solar water geysers R14.85 million/US$1.98 million    (45% of budget)
Compact fluorescent lights R2.97 million US$396,000           (9% of budget)
DEAT grant R24 million
Cape Provincial Dept. of Housing and Local Government grant R 4 million
CER Credits sales** R 1 million/year

*Allocations included equipment, materials, labor and training.
**Covers needed additional financing as well as operation and maintenance of equipment

Sources: http://www.growinginclusivemarkets.org/media/cases/SouthAfrica_Kuyasa_2010.pdf http://www.kuyasacdm.co.za/index.php