Before the COVID-19 crisis, the Southern African Developing Countries (SADC) had a
varied energy mix including renewable energy, fossil fuels, and military energy production.
The use of fossil fuels in the energy mix is known to be the source of the growing levels of
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, there was a reduction in GHG emissions
following the pandemic, which reduced travel and trade, and worldwide disruption in
economic activities. The priority of priority B in the 2015-2020 Regional Indicative
Strategic Development Plan, which is Energy, continues. As a result, the availability of
affordable and renewable energy is still a priority for south of the equator countries and
their growth agenda. This paper is aimed at exploring the sustainability of SADC countries’
electricity sectors by using three sustainability pillars: Social, Environmental and
Economic (SEE). SEE offers the main concepts of renewable energy, in a way that is
socially, environmentally appropriate and economically viable. Study shows a gap in
access rate in SADC countries with only Mauritius and Seychelles reaching 100% access
to modern energy services (electricity) for both rural and urban areas. Currently all the
member countries have set their RE goals for the year 2030. However, the subsidies by
SADC member countries indicate that they are practiced as a way to make electricity
affordable, and also to make electricity available to lower income households. In the period
2014-2017, big national budget deficits happened in various Southern African countries
because of subsidies. Thus, this paper is of crucial importance to the foundational
advancement of sustainable electricity sector growth in the country. The findings of this
paper play a crucial role in helping and guiding politicians to better understand the existing
and challenges future in the energy market and alternatives to address these problems.
Additional research is given on how to arrive at sustainable decisions for the electricity
sector in the region.