Romeo Dipura M.Phil.

FB 2: Gesellschafts- und Geschichtswissenschaften

Institut für Soziologie, Arbeitsbereich Stadt- und Raumsoziologie


work +49 6151 16-28570

Work S4|22 303
Dolivostr. 15
64293 Darmstadt


  • Climate Resilience
  • Urban Resilience
  • Urban Infrastructure
  • Urban Governance
  • Urban Planning
  • Southern Urbanism
  • Urban Food Systems


Enhancing Electricity Infrastructure Resilience: An Urban Governance Approach to the Management of Extreme Weather Events in Durban and Cape Town, South Africa (Working Title)

Electricity infrastructure is critical in cities for maintaining a viable urban life. From transportation and telecommunication to water and housing infrastructure, almost all other critical infrastructures depend on it. A strained electricity grid has a direct impact on water availability, as energy is needed for water distribution, drinking-water and wastewater treatment, and water pumping and conveyance. Thus, electricity infrastructure disruption has negative impacts for health, safety and life within the city. Yet electricity infrastructure in South Africa is vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather events. South Africa experiences extreme weather events such as droughts mostly in the Western Cape province and floods usually in the Eastern Cape. Rapid onset disasters such as floods and cyclones cause immediate physical damage and malfunctioning electricity infrastructure poses serious risks of physical harm or death to residents as was the case during the 2022 KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) floods. Slow-onset disasters, on the other hand, have more delayed impacts, e.g., droughts reduce the amount of water available for hydroelectricity plants, nuclear power stations and coal combustion as was experienced between 2015 and 2017 during the Western Cape drought. On the demand side, rising temperatures increase the use of electricity powered mechanical air conditioning systems as well as the need to pump water from water reservoirs. While a lot of scholarly work propose technical responses to protect electricity infrastructure from climate risk, there is a rich body of literature from the field of disaster risk management which contends that the protection of infrastructure from climate risk cannot be achieved through technically-oriented measures only and that absolute infrastructure protection is unattainable. This has led to the diversification of disaster risk management strategies as well as the changing the ways in which infrastructure and climate is governed. However, there remain gaps in our understanding of how best urban governance can contribute to climate adaptation. This PhD project examines the ways in which urban governance in Durban and Cape Town mediates both the risk and impacts of electricity infrastructure disruption induced by extreme weather events.

02/2020 – 06/2022 Master of Philosophy in Urban Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa
08/2014 – 07/2018 Bachelor of Science Honours in Rural and Urban Planning, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
10/2022 – present PhD Researcher at Research Training Group KRITIS, TU Darmstadt
09/2022 Urban Planner at Arup Private Limited, Zimbabwe
04/2022 Research Assistant for the Global City Leaders Survey, Cornell University, USA
09/2021 Student Assistant at the Environmental and Geographical Sciences Department, University of Cape Town, South Africa
02/2021 Research Assistant at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town

Chavunduka C, Dipura R and Vudzijena V, 2020. Land Policy, Investment and Production as Ingredients to Productive Agrarian Transformation in Zimbabwe. Journal of Land use Policy

Chirisa, I., Gumbo, T., Gundu-Jakarasi, V.N., Zhakata, W., Karakadzai, T., Dipura, R. and Moyo, T., 2021. Interrogating Climate Adaptation Financing in Zimbabwe: Proposed Direction. Sustainability, 13(12), p.6517.

Chirisa, I., Makunde, G., Dipura, R. and Mukarwi, L., 2019. Situating the Zimbabwean urban planning and investment agenda: are cities forces of goodness?.

Chirisa, I., Mukarwi, L., Nyevera, T., Matamanda, A. and Dipura, R., 2020. Wildlife crime in Zimbabwe: implications on public administration and environmental sustainability. Journal of Public Administration and Development Alternatives (JPADA), 5(2), pp.97-113.

Chirisa, I., Nel, V. and Dipura, R., 2020. The Food-Water-Health-Energy-Climate Change Nexus: Pivot for Resilience in the Cities of the Global South. Dialogues in Climate and Environmental Research, Policy and Planning: A Special Focus on Zimbabwe, p.205.

Singh, J.A., Thalheimer, L., van Aalst, M., Li11, S., Sun12, J., Vecchi12, G., Yang12, W., Tradowsky14, J., Otto, F.E. and Dipura, R., 2022. Climate change exacerbated rainfall causing devastating flooding in Eastern South Africa.