A journey towards inclusive and sustainable industrial development in South Africa continues as the second phase of the Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme (GEIPP II) received funding endorsement on 12 March 2024. The milestone, generously supported by the Swiss Government through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa NCPC-SA), underscores the power of collaboration and shared vision.

The Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (the dtic) played a pivotal role in aligning efforts with national priorities and ensuring synergies with the needs and aspirations of the South African industrial sector. This collaboration stands as a testament to effective partnership between the government and international organisations like UNIDO.

The signing was against the backdrop of a successful conclusion of the first phase (GEIPP I) in December 2023. The GEIPP, a flagship programme of the NCPC-SA, seeks to facilitate the greening of South Africa’s industrial parks with support from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

“We are encouraged by the continued support from SECO and UNIDO on this critical initiative,” commented Ndivhuho Raphulu, Director NCPC-SA. “The GEIPP phase I not only helped maximise the impact of RECP interventions but also enabled participating industrial parks to operate more sustainably. The expansion of the programme means that we can cast our net wider and empower more industrial parks,” adds Raphulu.

The GEIPP in South Africa aims to create synergies with other UNIDO projects and foster collaboration across borders. Together, these efforts will contribute to the transition towards a circular economy, mitigate climate impacts and help industrial parks adapt to the adverse consequences of climate change.

“We are immensely grateful to the Government of Switzerland and SECO for their unwavering support and belief in this initiative,” remarked Diego Masera, UNIDO Representative for Southern Africa and head of the Regional Office. “Their commitment not only propels us forward but also strengthens the bond between Switzerland and South Africa, united by a common goal of sustainability and environmental stewardship.”

“As we move forward, let us build on the achievements and lessons learned from the first phase, creating synergies with other UNIDO projects and fostering active collaboration across borders,” said Diego.”

The expected outcomes of this project—mainstreaming eco-industrial park approaches in policies and regulations, and realising environmental, economic, and social benefits for industrial parks and their tenant companies—are within reach. This initiative paves the way for a greener, more sustainable future for generations to come.