Lindiwe Johnson, 32, is a senior analyst for green economy skills development at the nonprofit organisation, GreenCape. Her work entails identifying and mitigating critical barriers to future green economy skills, unlocking the potential for growth and investment across institutional sectors. The nonprofit works at the interface between business, government and academia to facilitate cross-sectoral insight into barriers and industry opportunities, as well as identifying skills gaps in the renewable energy industry to address skills development needs and potential growth in green economy industries. Lindiwe’s responsibilities include capacity building and awareness campaigns to inform and empower various stakeholders. She works with communities, women and youth in rural and urban areas in the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape to improve knowledge about climate change; enable them to take an active role in policy and decision-making processes at local, regional and national levels; and to work collaboratively on the ground to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. Lindiwe, who has a postgraduate diploma in sustainable development and a BA in development and environmental studies from Stellenbosch University, says she is a dreamer and these dreams have allowed her to live with curiosity, a lust for learning and to take risks. This has given her purpose to achieve her dream of a thriving South Africa. It is a country that has policies and funding opportunities that create an enabling environment for green businesses and for small, micro and medium enterprises to thrive. It is a country where skilled citizens are tackling climate change at community and national levels.
- Postgraduate diploma in sustainable development, University of Stellenbosch
- BA in development and environmental studies, University of Stellenbosch
- M&G Greening the Future Awards 2023
- Ecological Green Economy Awards 2019
Sundays, we always sit around the lunch table as a family and my father, an avid storyteller, would share stories of my grandfather who, despite all odds, attended the University of Fort Hare to become a teacher. He loved learning and had a love for language, especially English. He served his community by teaching and also assisting the chief of police read letters received. His determination to learn inspires me to want to do more, fulfilling his wildest dreams and reaching greater heights.
Just keep doing what you love, even if it doesn’t make sense to everyone else. It will bring great rewards (both in career and life) and even better stories of chances taken.
I dream of a South Africa that has embraced the opportunities presented by the green economy to grow the economy and tackle poverty and unemployment. It has policies and funding opportunities that create an enabling environment for green businesses and for small, micro and medium enterprises to thrive. In five years I imagine South Africans having greater awareness and skilled citizens are tackling climate change at community and national levels.