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Infrastructure & Utilities South Africa

African Utility Week Industry Awards winners announced

The African energy sector honoured its top power professionals and projects at the glittering African Utility Week Industry Awards gala ceremony on Wednesday, 13 May.
Eskom's Ayanda Nakedi presents the Outstanding Woman in Power Award
Eskom's Ayanda Nakedi presents the Outstanding Woman in Power Award

The awards were part of the African Utility Week at the CTICC in Cape Town where more than 5000 power and water professionals gathered for the annual conference and exhibition. The executive mayor of the city, Patricia de Lille opened the event.

Industry Award winners

Utility Executive of the Year - Sicelo Xulu, MD: City Power and president of the Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities of Southern Africa

Sicelo Xulu led the Johannesburg utility in reducing billing losses by 10% and achieving a 98% meter reading by 2015. The awards judges also noted that in light of the security of supply challenges, Xulu introduced demand site management (DSM) initiatives such as achieving an unqualified audit for City Power for the first time in four years and the solar water heater programme, the largest in South Africa and City Power's flagship programme.

Energy & Water Efficiency Project of the Year - Project SWATT, Ackermans & UGU Engineering Solutions, South Africa

Well-known retailer, Ackermans, teamed up with UGU Engineering Solutionns on Project SWATT, an initiative aimed at reducing the energy footprint of the business and achieving the highest possible return on investment through reducing electricity costs. The scope of the project included assessing the technology, control mechanisms and behaviour relating to energy usage in all Ackermans stores nationwide, and to create an ongoing integrated energy management programme.

The award judges said SWATT was "an excellent project with well-documented savings and improved operations through use of technology".

Outstanding Woman in Power / Water Award - Florence Nsubuga, executive director, UMEME, a Ugandan energy distribution network company

As former COO and now executive director of UMEME, Florence Nsubuga oversees 600 direct, permanent and another 1,000 indirect employees. Nsubuga has delivered outstanding results through her Leadership Stand of Empowerment, Development; Collaboration; Accountability and Integrity.

Municipality of the Year - eThekwini Municipality

The eThekwini Municipality was recognised and rewarded for its communal ablution blocks (CABs) and achieving an effective temporary solution to address the problem of inadequate provision of water and sanitation service delivery. The CABs are modified shipping containers, each containing two showers, each with a door for privacy, two flushing toilets with doors, two hand basins and a small locked storeroom for cleaning materials. Four basins are attached to the outside of the containers for washing clothes. Lighting is provided at night and improves the safety of users, particularly the safety of women and children.

The CABs are connected to the municipal sewerage and water systems and are provided on 350 sites in informal settlements in pairs - one for women and one for men. The judges described the CABs as "an excellent project that improved the lives of 500,000 residents of informal settlements. The award is very well deserved as the municipality solved problems and created jobs".

Lifetime Achievement Award - Dr Lawrence Musaba, coordination centre manager, Southern African Power Pool, Zimbabwe

On receiving the award, Dr Musaba said: "This is the highest honour I have received in my life. I feel honoured and humbled. Thank you to the organisers of the African Utility Week Industry Awards and to all the employees of the SAPP."

Other awards

  • African Power Utility of the Year - KenGen, Kenya
  • African Water Utility of the Year - National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Uganda
  • Clean Energy Project of the Year - 280MW Olkaria Geothermal Power Expansion Project, KenGen, Kenya
  • African Community Project of the Year - Bokpoort CSP project, ACWA Power, South Africa
  • Collaboration of the Year - Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project, Zambezi River Authority, Zambia

African Utility Week is on at the CTICC until Thursday, 14 May. For more info, go to

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