Sustaining life – Investing in Water and Sustainable Agriculture in 2020
  May 15, 2020     News, Market Intelligence, water, agriculture, water sector desk, sustainable agriculture

GreenCape’s 2020 Market Intelligence Reports, produced in partnership with the Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism, are now available for download online. The Sustainable Agriculture MIR is published in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.


Please note: Covid-19 has created unprecedented uncertainty in global markets. While we have attempted to be accurate in the projections of market sizing, there remains a high level of uncertainty. The 2020 Market Intelligence Reports were published and printed in March, before lockdown. It is anticipated that global economic stimulus packages being developed to revitalise the global economy after the acute Covid-19 crisis, would be geared towards technologies of the future, including a strong emphasis on scaling greentech solutions.



Based on population and economic growth projections, South Africa could have a 17% gap between water supply and demand by 2030. However, a recent analysis indicates that if water use is reduced by just 7.5%, and planned additional water supply projects are implemented, this gap can be narrowed significantly by 2035.

“Investing in infrastructure and technologies that will improve our water security and ensure resilient food supply systems are not just crucial enablers of economic development, but fundamental to sustaining life,” said Claire Pengelly, Water and Agriculture Programme Manager at GreenCape.

“Water scarcity has been a key driver for investment in the Western Cape water sector due to severe drought conditions and expected longer-term water constraints in the region,” said Raldo Kruger, GreenCape Water Sector Analyst. “This year however, we see a shift towards longer-term investment opportunities to improve water security and resilience, as key enablers of economic development,” he added.  

“Specifically, the report focuses on insights and opportunities relating to two key urban water markets in South Africa, namely the industrial market and the municipal market,” said Ashton Mpofu, GreenCape Water Sector Analyst.

The following investment opportunities have been highlighted in the Water sector for 2020.

Industrial market: The agri-processing sector has opportunities for water efficiency and wastewater reuse. There is a total realisable investment of ~R6bn in water in key agri-processing sub-sectors over the next 4-6 years in SA.

Municipal markets: Wastewater treatment works (WWTWs) hold opportunities for wastewater reuse, biogas and energy efficiency. Wastewater reuse projects currently in development in SA amount to ~ R5.8bn, with a further R2.6bn projects planned in the Western Cape in the next 10 years. There is a total of ~R50bn worth of reuse projects nationally, at WWTWs 1 MLD or larger.

There are three large-scale biogas / CHP projects currently in planning in Cape Town (over the next 10 years). In total there is ~R1.1bn worth of viable CHP projects at WWTWs in SA, and a further ~R1.1bn in energy efficiency and optimisation retrofits at waterworks in the 8 metropolitan municipalities.


Download the Water 2020 MIR here.


Sustainable Agriculture

“Water availability is a key driver for the uptake of agricultural technology (agtech) in South Africa,” said Inge Kuschke, GreenCape Agri sector desk. “South Africa is a semi-arid country, with limited land suitable for rain fed agriculture production, making water a key constraint to agricultural development,” she added.

In the light of these realities, there are emerging investment opportunities in: remote sensing technologies for precision agriculture applications (driven specifically to improve water efficiency and climate adaptation); undercover farming, which includes low-tech infrastructure such as shade netting and higher-tech controlled environment agriculture systems; and well-established investment opportunities in renewable energy and conservation agriculture. This MIR is developed in partnership with the Western Cape Provincial Department of Agriculture.


Download the Sustainable Agriculture 2020 MIR here.


Other green economy Market Intelligence Reports


The 2020 MIRs include updated investment opportunities and highlights the relevant legislation context and potential market barriers and risks in: Energy Services, Utility Scale Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicles, Waste and Water. GreenCape also publishes a Sustainable Agriculture MIR in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. GreenCape’s annual Market Intelligence Reports (MIRs), developed in partnership with the Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism, highlight up-to-date investment opportunities in key sectors of the green economy. GreenCape’s sector desks are in the unique position to gather current insights from businesses active in the green economy, as well as from other key role-players in each of the sectors. The MIRs are focused on highlighting opportunities in the Western Cape, and they also include relevant national insights and context.