Data and Insights: South Africa

VCS Quarterly Update

ISSUE #3 - Q1/2021

We are pleased to share the new “Data and Insights” brief for South Africa, which includes data on cumulative and recent VCS activity through March 2021. 

The carbon tax continues to be the main driver for carbon credit issuances and retirements. Emitters may reduce their tax liability by 5–10% through the use of carbon credits from domestic projects that reduce or remove emissions and do not receive benefits from other government incentives. 

The filing of returns for the 2020 reporting period (1 January 2020 – 31 December 2020) is due by 31 July 2021.

More information is available at: 

Main Takeaways

VCS projects are increasing

The number of VCS projects in South Africa has steadily increased — from 24 to 30 — since the start of our Data & Insights briefs for South Africa (Q3/2020). This number includes both projects that originated under the VCS and projects from other GHG programs that transferred into the VCS Program.

Retirements for 2020 already more than for 2019

While the next carbon tax return filing is not due until 31 July, almost 1.2 million VCUs  have already been retired on the Verra registry in Q1/2021 to be listed in  the South African Carbon Offset Administration System (COAS) system. This is almost double the number of VCUs retired for the filing deadline last October.

VCS Data and Insights: South Africa - Q1/2021
This chart includes cumulative data about VCS projects in South Africa.
Project Total
Under Development 1
Under Validation 1
Registration Requested 2
Registered 16
Transferred* 10
*Projects whose credits were transferred from another GHG program
Project Types
Energy industries (renewable/non-renewable sources)
Waste handling and disposal
Chemical industry
Industrial processing
Project Total
Energy industries (renewable/non-renewable sources) 10
Waste handling and disposal 6
Transport 1
Chemical industry 8
Industrial processing 1
*Agriculture, Forestry, and Land Use
5,373,291 Expected Annual Reductions from All Projects in South Africa
Summary Totals to Date
VCU Issuances* (Total to Date)

*One VCU represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent that was removed from the atmosphere or not emitted.

Greenhouse gas equivalencies for emission reductions and removals were calculated using the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

VCUs Globally
cars taken off the road
for a year
747,578 VCUs from Projects in South Africa to Date
VCU Issuances by Year
*The South Africa carbon tax was implemented in 2019.
**as of 31 March, 2021
VCU Issuances by Project Type
Energy industries
Waste handling and disposal
Chemical industry
Industrial Processing
Project Type VCUs
Energy industries 618,089
Waste handling and disposal 427,513
Chemical industry 1,727,385
Industrial Processing 9,643
VCUs that have been purchased and taken off the market forever; a retired VCU represents a carbon offset.
1,186,582 VCUs
cars taken off the road
for a year
0 VCUs Retired for Voluntary Purposes
1,186,582 VCUs Retired for Compliance Purposes
ForthcomingNumber of retired credits used for carbon tax will be available after the date for surrendering, 31 July 2021