CEO Voice: January 2021
I would like to welcome you all to yet another exciting wind energy year. It is my hope that you had a pleasant and restful holiday with the opportunity to spend time with friends and family.
The last year was a very challenging one for the sector and for the economy as a whole. Although we are starting 2021 amidst a second wave of COVID-19, we are hopeful that government will succeed in curbing the scourge of the pandemic continues cripple our economy.
On the brighter note we started the year with positive news that South Africa is planning to issue three rounds of renewable energy procurement rounds in a space of 12-months. At the same time the announcement of the 5th bid window for REIPPPP is imminent. This is indeed a great start to the year as we are gearing up to a period of growth in the wind energy industry.
This year we will continue with the theme “10 Years of Wind Energy” which we launched at Windaba 2020, to highlight the benefits of wind power in South Africa with regards to Socio Economic Impact, Environmental Impact, Gender Equality, Youth Empowerment and Local Value Chain Development.
As we look ahead to 2021, we have set ourselves a tight annual programme that will see SAWEA making an impact across all fronts of our strategic objectives as an organisation. This year we continue to focus our attention on the following programmes:
- Policy Advocacy, lobbying and stakeholder relations
- Public Relations, communication and marketing
- Research and knowledge management
- Strengthening the Working Groups outputs
- SAWEA Events, which include Monthly Webinars, CEO Breakfasts, WindAc Africa and Windaba
- Operationalising our Industry Commitment Statement
We will continue to keep members informed as we unpack and implement these programmes throughout the year. Furthermore we will have a focussed campaign to grow the membership base of SAWEA, while ensuring financial sustainability of the organisation.
I’m also excited about the launch of two new working groups, Gender Diversity Working Group and Legal Working Group. The purpose of Gender Diversity Working Group is to create a discussion platform for the wind energy sector to: firstly, actively develop plans to address gender diversity matters within the energy sector and to hold dialogues around areas where there is not enough representation; and secondly, to initiate programmes that will ensure that the sector gender diversity objectives are met. The purpose of the Legal Working Group is to ensure that we put the sector’s legal mind around the table to unpack common approaches on several legal challenges that the sector may face.
I look forward to a positive year that 2021 promises to be and wish you all the best!