The South African Wind Energy Programme (SAWEP) is a multi-year technical assistance project that is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which is supporting the Government of South Africa in promoting the large-scale commercialisation of wind energy.  SAWEP has been formulated in close collaboration with the Department of Energy (DMRE) and supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) country office.

SAWEP Phase 1 (2007 - 2010)

  • “Green Power Guarantee Fund” established that enabled the City of Cape Town to enter into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with the Darling Wind Power Company (South Africa’s 1st Wind IPP).
  • The Minister of Energy (July 2013) announcement of the WASA First Large-Scale High -Resolution Wind Resource map (250 m grid spacing) that is based on the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model for wind resource assessment and validated with measurements of 10 wind measurement stations.
  • Supported the establishment of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA).

SAWEP Phase 2 (2015 - 2019)

Implementation of SAWEP 2 commenced in August 2016.  SAWEP 2 has four main focus areas (components):

  • Monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of local content requirements.
  • Resource-mapping and wind corridor development support for policymakers.
  • Support for the development of the small-scale wind sector.
  • Training and human capital development for the wind energy sector.


The project is nationally implemented by the DMRE in line with applicable agreements between the UNDP and the government of South Africa. The DMRE us is responsible for the direct oversight of the project on a day to day basis, which is currently delegated to the Director: Renewable Energy Initiatives by the Chief Director: Clean Energy. SANEDI has been appointed to carry out the project management functions.

A Project Management Unit (PMU) comprising of a Project Manager at SANEDI and DMRE Project Manager: Renewable Energy Initiatives provide secretariat, coordination and overall management functions and tasks related to the various outputs.  

The PMU reports to the SAWEP Project Steering Committee (PSC) comprising of representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), SANEDI, UNDP and chaired by the DMRE  One of the key functions of the PSC is to approve the annual work plan and budget at the beginning of each calendar year before it is sent to the GEF/UNDP for final endorsement.