The moderating and mediating role of local government in the community engagement strategy of a renewable energy company in South Africa




Renewable energy, corporate community engagement, local government, sustainable development, South Africa


Adopting a qualitative case study approach of a renewable energy company in South Africa, the research investigated community engagement within the tripartite relationship of a wind farm, the communities, and the local government. It was found that local government played a moderating role in the community engagement efforts of the wind farm which had to comply with certain engagement protocols determined by local government. Local government also played a mediating role in corporate community engagement, as the wind farm developed their engagement strategy in alignment with local government’s policies and acted as a ‘dot-connector’ between local government and communities. The wind farm played a reciprocal mediating role on local government’s own engagement with their communities in the face of local government’s inefficiencies and complemented service delivery outcomes. The wind farm’s engagement strategy thus enabled local development which was appreciated by communities and local government.


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Author Biographies

Bryan Michael Kenneth Robinson, Business School, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

B.Com (UNISA), B.Com (Hons) (UNISA), MBL (UNISA School of Business Leadership), DBA (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School)

Occupation: Research Associate and lecturer Business in Society and International Business at Nelson Mandela University Business School

Siân Stephens, Business School, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom

BA (Hons) (University of Birmingham), MA (Newcastle University), MRes (Birbeck College), MSc (Middlesex University), PG Cert in Higher Education (Middlesex University), PhD (Middlesex University Business School)

Occupation: Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management Leadership and Organisations at Middlesex University Business School.


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How to Cite

Robinson, B. M. K., & Stephens, S. (2021). The moderating and mediating role of local government in the community engagement strategy of a renewable energy company in South Africa. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, 32(3), 14–23.