Good News Stories – Further Studies

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The South Africa System Dynamics Chapter has had much to celebrate in the past year with three policy council members and two chapter members completing their PhD. Read about their topics below.

Dr Nalini Sooknanan Pillay

Supervisors: Prof Alan C Brent & Prof Josephine K Musango

System Dynamics Simulation of Income Distribution and Electric Vehicle Diffusion for Electricity Planning in South Africa

An adapted system dynamics modelling process was used to determine the provincial affordability of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in South Africa and impact on electricity consumption and carbon emissions in the electricity and transport sectors. Results indicate that BEV market penetration based on consumer vehicle expenditure behaviour by 2040, results in 44,155 BEVs instead of 233,700 (based on the GDP parametric) and 451,736 instead of 2,389,950 BEVs (based on South Africa’s commitment in the Paris Agreement). From 2019-2040, BEV drivers add a cumulative 2,764 GWh. With a coal heavy supply mix, no gains in carbon emission reduction was observed.

Dr Andries Botha

Supervisors: Dr Jacomine Grobler & Prof Sarma Yadavalli

A System Dynamics Simulation for Strategic Inventory Management in the South African Automotive Industry

The promovendus analyses the design of the existing inventory management methods and develops an alternative stock on hand stock target setting inventory management method.  The theoretical derivation, actual implementation and the stock target setting method were compared using a system dynamics simulation model, using simulated and actual demand data.  It is proved that the theoretical derivation has the lowest availability with the least amount of inventory, the actual implementation has the highest availability with 100 times the inventory and the stock target setting method high availability with only 10 times the inventory.  The methods are also analysed for non-stationary demand.  The stock target and actual method provide the best results, with 10 times more stock required for the actual method.

Dr. Benjamin Batinge

Supervisors: Prof Josephine K Musango & Prof Alan C Brent

Expediting transitions in unmet electricity markets: The case of leapfrogging renewable energy in Africa

Universal access to modern energy, such as electricity, improves the quality of services in different economic sectors and facets of human living. However, most Africans still do not have electricity access due to limited finance. Using a systematic literature review and system dynamics modelling, the study designed an energy transition framework and developed simulation models to assess roadmaps towards universal energy access. The study found that investment from the private sector would increase access to finance, leapfrog Africa’s unmet electricity markets to renewable energy and address the energy infrastructure challenge. This requires governments to introduce regulatory reforms that attract private investment.

Dr Lwandle Mqadi

Supervisors: Prof Josephine K Musango & Prof Alan C Brent

Integrated Sustainability Transitions Framework to guide governance of strategic electricity planning

South Africa electricity sector is characterised by a unique social, political and economic legacy of apartheid, which still profoundly impacts decision making and the contemporary politics of sustainability and transition towards a low-carbon energy economy. Though critical literature analysis, qualitative system dynamics and experts stakeholder engagements, the study conceptualised and tested an electricity sustainability transition framework to guide governance of strategic integrated electricity planning. The study established that a policy governance-driven framework, embedded in the Integrated Resources Plan, is vital to tackle issues of policy, governance, transparency, vested interests and associated politics, policy alignment, stakeholder engagement, and monitoring and evaluation.

Dr Suzanne Smit

Supervisors: Prof Josephine K Musango, Prof Alan C Brent & Dr Zora Kovacic

Connecting the urban informal settlement to the city: A systems approach

Existing studies exclude a detailed understanding of how urban slums function and contribute to the city metabolism. This study developed a conceptual framework that classifies urban slums based on physical and legal characteristics, forming the basis for analysing different slum types. Further, the study developed a tool to undertake the metabolic dimension of an informal settlement using Multi-scale Integrated Assessment of the Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism and Community Based System Dynamics methods. Applying the tool in Enkanini, the study highlighted a series of issues to be addressed through spatial, developmental and local economic policy, whilst informing the Sustainable Development Goals.

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