Read time: 3 minutes

Doctoral study on leveraging the green economy

Some of the consequences of climate change can be turned into opportunities to grow the green economy, according to the results of a doctoral study conducted by a eThekwini Municipality's Energy Office's project manager, Dr Magash Naidoo.

'Analysing the eThekwini Green Economy According to its Dynamic and Complex Components for Identifying Leverage Points' was the title of Naidoo's study, supervised by Professor Cecile Proches and Dr Abdulla Kader.

"The green economy offers an opportunity to address the negative legacies that we as South Africans have to deal with while building a sustainable future for future generations," said Naidoo.

Over the years, while working in eThekwini's Energy Office, Naidoo realised the concept of a green economy was not well understood in terms of its dynamic and complex characteristics. Hence, the focus of his study was to identify the components that make up the eThekwini green economy, highlight the characteristics of the components, determine the manner in which those components interact, pinpoint leverage points in the system and develop a framework to depict eThekwini's green economy.

Inequality, discretionary income, per capita GDP and unemployment were some of the areas identified as needing urgent attention by the city in order to stimulate the green economy.

Naidoo's thesis is a follow-up to his 2014 master's research work, which was titled: 'Information Climate Change Mitigation Policy: An eThekwini Municipality perspective'.

"I was in my late 20s when I started the process and wanted to complete the doctorate earlier in life so that I could utilise the 'credibility' to make further meaningful contributions to society. I have developed a hunger for learning and finding solutions to problems," he said.

"My doctoral experience has been absolutely positive; I had awesome supervisors who were so accommodating and motivating. The only challenging aspects were that a PhD requires a lot of time, and if you are collecting primary data from people/organisations, they are not always co-operative. In my opinion, holding a PhD is supposed to give hope to others, whether through academic findings that will enhance the country, or more directly by motivating other people to pursue their studies more diligently."

Naidoo is currently finalising a guide for people planning to do a PhD, and it will soon be freely available. For further information, contact Naidoo at [email protected]

Words: Hazel Langa