The notable absence of a national political agenda around climate change (and the natural environment more generally) in South Africa means there is very little political or fiscal support for local programmes. Whilst conspicuous in its absence, the lack of a mandate for political parties has its origins in what the research identifies as a knowledge deficit relating to the systemic nature of climate risks and popular misconceptions that climate change concerns are separate from and in competition with social and economic development goals. As a result, climate change adaptation remains, for the time being, in the realm of technical planning and management, largely confined to the efforts of municipal environmental and natural resource departments, where progress is contingent on the energy, efforts and agency of individuals.