By Climate Scorecard South Africa Country Manager Andrew Hall
Based in Salt River, Cape Town, SouthSouthNorth (SSN) is an NGO that supports regional and national climate change responses by means of policy and knowledge interventions, partnerships, and deep collaborations. SSN carries this out by connecting people and information, increasing capability and mobilising resources to innovatively respond to challenges and opportunities presented by a changing climate. SSN envisions “a climate resilient world, where ethical and equitable resource management drives a sustainable future.” SSN projects are funded by The Adaptation Fund, UK Department for International Development, Natural Environment Research Council, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
One of SSNs larger community focused projects The Community Adaptation Small Grants Facility (SGF), was an adaptation project costing 29 million ZAR; which ran from 2015-2020. The project was based in two target areas in South Africa: the Namakwa District in the Northern Cape and the Mopani district in Limpopo. The SGF project aims to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience to the projected impacts of climate change within vulnerable rural communities within the aforementioned regions. This is done by a granting mechanism known as enhanced direct access, which allows civil society organisations access to climate finance to apply locally relevant adaptation projects at a community-level. The three types of adaptation funded by the SGF are: ClimateSmart Agriculture, Climate Resilient Livelihoods and Climate Proof Settlements.
To date, the SGF project has provided 13 small grants with an approved combined value of 18 million ZAR; this has benefited 1762 women, 1248 men, and 964 youth. Climate adaptation technologies established through the SGF in rural communities are: 12 saving groups, 2 compost toilets, 65 (350 offspring) climate-resilient livestock, 40 water tanks, 10 homes insulated.
The agricultural sector of South Africa is projected to be one of the hardest hit sectors by climate change as it is a naturally water scarce country and water resources are expected to be further constrained by the impacts of climate change. Particularly vulnerable are small-scale farmers without resources to adapt to changes that would allow for continued farming in a very different climate in the near-future. Adaptation initiatives such as the SGF have great potential in South Africa given the success in the two target areas. The effects of climate change are already being felt, as once prominent agricultural regions are facing extreme water shortages such as the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape. The continuation of the small-scale agricultural sector in South Africa is dependent on adaptive techniques to combat a changing climate.