Global warming and climate change have been identified as strategic issues for South Africa, which as a developing country is more vulnerable to climate change and have less capacity to deal with the impact. This research investigates the contribution of the South African cement industry to greenhouse gas emission and how the Clean Development Mechanism can be used towards sustainable development and climate change mitigation measures. A review of the South African cement industry was done through documentary research. The research was directed in consultation with a network of industry experts. Data from various sources was interpolated to quantify greenhouse gas contributions. The results from a qualitative analysis of the registered cement-sector Clean Development Mechanism project portfolio were used to identify opportunities for using the mechanism in climate change mitigation initiatives. The cement industry contributes less than two percent of greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa. As this is not significant, greenhouse gas emission reduction projects and sustainable development are driven mostly by public concerns, corporate responsibility and rising cost of fossil fuels. Opportunities for Clean Development Mechanism projects lie in waste utilisation as alternative fuel and raw materials and in improved energy-efficiency by retrofitting appropriate technology. The main constraints are the lack of capacity to initiate and implement projects, restrictive legislation for project approval and transaction costs.