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Meet Sanedi's new board of directors

The South African National Energy Development Institute's (Sanedi) new board members were appointed in December 2021 and accepted their nominations in January 2022. They have already sat in their first meeting and all the board sub-committees have been formally constituted.

Lungile Mtiya. Photographer: Judith Belle
Lungile Mtiya. Photographer: Judith Belle
The new board comprises 10 members who hold extensive experience across various industries, including clean energy, intellectual property, and chemical engineering. The newly appointed board members are: Sicelo Xulu, Lungile Mtiya, Abegail Boikhutso, Tumelo Mashabela, Ilze Baron, Jongikhaya Witi, and Mthokozisi Mpofu. Noma Qase, Gerhard Fourie, and Olga Chauke sit on the board as alternate members.

New chairperson

The newly appointed chairperson is Sicelo Xulu who has previously served at a number of entities, including City Power Johannesburg where he held the role of managing director.

Xulu, with over two decades of engineering, is a professional engineering technologist and is registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa. He is currently a fellow member of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) and he served as a CEO of the institute until December 2020.

“I look forward to steering the Sanedi board and furthering its mandate of being a leader in coming up with clean energy solutions in order to get closer to a carbon-free South Africa. Our plan will focus more on providing solutions to the country's energy pain points such as loadshedding, just energy transition, and electricity supply industry reforms through executing energy research and improving energy efficiencies as more and more people turn to renewable energy,” Xulu says.

Lindiwe Olga Chauke. Photographer: Judith Belle
Lindiwe Olga Chauke. Photographer: Judith Belle

New board members

Lungile Mtiya, appointed as deputy chairperson, comes with over a decade’s experience in human resources with labour relations, labour law, and bargaining councils knowledge.

Representing the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment on the board is Lindiwe Chauke who has broad expertise in climate change mitigation in various sectors including transport, waste, and agriculture, among others.

Representing the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition are Gerhard Fourie, chief director for green industries in industries competitive growth and growth branch; and Ilze Baron, director in the green industries unit of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.

Jongikhaya Witi, chief director for climate change monitoring, evaluation and mitigation, will represent the Department of Environmental Affairs. He is also a member of multiple professional bodies such as the Water Institute of South Africa and the National Association for Clean Air.

Jongikhaya Witi. Photographer: Judith Belle
Jongikhaya Witi. Photographer: Judith Belle
Abegail Boikhutso brings financial skills to the board. She has 20 years of experience in finance and has previously held various public and private sector roles in the industry.

Mthokozisi Mpofu will represent the Department of Energy and has previously held the role of deputy director general for the energy programme and project management unit and is chief director for electricity infrastructure for the department. Nomawethu Qase will also represent the Department of Energy on the board. She is currently the director for renewable energy initiatives for the department and has a wealth of expertise in the energy sector.

Tumelo Mashabela is a patent attorney with over 10 years of experience in intellectual property. She is also a member of the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law.

Critical skills for Sanedi

Mthokozisi Mpofu. Photographer: Judith Belle
Mthokozisi Mpofu. Photographer: Judith Belle
“In the current business environment we are in, the skills that are required at this point in time for Sanedi as a 10-year organisation and moving into a new phase, include legal and compliance, because that’s on everyone’s lips now in terms of state-owned entities,” explains Sanedi’s general manager for energy efficiency and corporate communications Barry Bredenkamp.

Some of the skills incorporated into the board include patent law, which Bredenkamp says is a critical element for Sanedi as it moves into the technology transfer arena.

“All of the newly appointed board members have excellent reputations in their field and are accepted leaders, and people with knowledge in their respective fields,” added Bredenkamp.

Under their leadership, the new board wishes to see Sanedi move forward in advancing the organisation's low carbon vision.

“We’ve come ten years down the line. We’ve achieved significant milestones, but the whole global energy industry is evolving into a low carbon future or a net-zero future, and that’s where they would like to see us making inroads,” said Bredenkamp.

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