Municipal Institute Of LearningMILE - Municipal Institute Of Learning
Energy Use in the Street Food Sector
Energy is a key input for informal and micro-enterprises in the Street Food Sector, which is largely dominated by women in African countries. These enterprises require energy to transform, cook and process food, however, energy use patterns in this sector are not well understood by policy makers and local level authorities who regulate their trading activities. How inclusive are our design, appropriateness and consideration of trading spaces, socio-cultural and contextual factors that determine the energy strategies of the enterprises? 

With this thought, MILE hosted its 20th Built Environment Seminar on 19th of April 2018 at the Durban Botanical Gardens Conference Centre. With a mix of City practitioners and academia, the purpose of the seminar was to better understand energy use and the impacts of regulations in the informal food sector which could lead to influencing practice and informing policy in local government. 

The research was conducted in partnership with the Energy Research Centre at University of Cape Town (UCT) and is part of a consortium of research partners: MARGE (in Rwanda) and ENDA (in Senegal), led by the University of Twente (Netherlands).

Surveys and interviews were conducted with over 700 enterprises in the urban areas of Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa. The research findings show that enterprises use both traditional and modern energy sources to meet their business needs. It would be naïve to think that by providing electricity infrastructure, then it would satisfy the clean and sustainable energy needs of the sector. According to the study, an understanding the energy stacking strategies and multiple energy use behaviour of informal and micro-enterprises can help in regulating access to cleaner sources of traditional and modern energy services.

The workshop encouraged  city practitioners to consider how inclusive the design, appropriateness and consideration of trading spaces, socio-cultural and contextual factors are that determine the energy strategies of the enterprises.​

It was noted that the seminar provided a key platform to solicit response from this focus group given that the research was ongoing. It was further noted that the Energy Office and the Business Support Unit are keen to engage further with the research findings and recommendations that could influence the programming of recommendations into practice and policy in eThekwini. 

Download presentations below:


 Presentations: 20 BESS

BESS 20 Learning Notes Energy Use .pdf
583 KB
Foci of study-Hans.pdf
646 KB
Senegal Presentation.pdf
5817 KB
The importance of access to energy in the informal food sector- Jiska de Groot.pdf
2007 KB
University of Twente.pdf
561 KB

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