Energy Council launches South Africa’s Member Committee of UN-accredited World Energy Council at Enlit Africa 2024.

The Energy Council of South Africa has launched the newly formed World Energy Council (WEC) South Africa Member Committee at the Enlit Africa conference in Cape Town.   
The World Energy Council is the oldest independent, impartial energy community, which connects leaders, professionals, policymakers, industries and innovators across the world. The newly formed WEC South Africa Committee aims to tap into the international networks for global best practice on market reforms, energy provision and sustainability.  
The members are of the WEC South Africa Committee are:  
• Director General in the Department of Mineral Resources, Jacob Mbele  
• Eskom General Manager of Strategy and Planning, Matthew Mflathelwa  
• CEO of South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi), Dr Titus Mathe  
• CEO of Siemens Energy, Thabo Molekoa  
• CEO of Seriti Green, Peter Venn  
• Head of Power, Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank, Rentia van Tonder  
• Mpact Group Energy Manager and Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG) member, Rosalind Dos Santos  
• Sappi Senior Regional Electrical Engineer, Martin Mthembu  
• Director of the Energy System Research Group at the University of Cape Town, Prof. Harro von Blottnitz  
• Director of the Centre for Renewable & Sustainable Energy Studies at the University of Stellenbosch Prof. Cristina Trois  
The objectives of the committee, which held its inaugural meeting on 15 May, include:  
• Providing a platform for dialogues for players from across the energy sector,  
• Being an authoritative voice on energy debates and policies while drawing on the World Energy Council fact-based insights and tools,  
• Showcasing best practices and innovations in a regional and global context  
• Supporting the development of effective energy regulations and frameworks, and   
• Focusing on developing a thriving and sustainable energy future for South Africa, 
while supporting inclusive economic growth.  
Members of the South African National Committee will host a panel discussion at Enlit this afternoon (16.15 – 17.30), discussing: ‘collaborating at scale; re-positioning SA’s energy transition and bringing everyone along’.  
More about the WEC   
The WEC is a UN accredited not-for-profit global energy organisation established in 1923 with presence in over 100 countries and over 3000-member sub-committees. The WEC offers broad knowledge and planning tools to members to be able to support energy leaders, professionals, policymakers, and stakeholders to understand and manage energy changes and systems.      
Please see CEO of the Energy Council, James Mackay’s speech below:   
Energy Council launches South African Member Committee of UN-affiliated World Energy Council at Enlit Africa   
"Thank you for coming to support the launch of the World Energy Council South Africa National Committee. I won’t call out all the VIP guests by name, but your support is hugely appreciated. Thank you for the overview of the World Energy Council, Marius. It is exciting that we are joining over 100 other country national committees and 8 African countries that make up the African regional committee.  
Thank you to Enlit Africa for hosting this engagement and for the support from the Spanish Embassy.  
The Energy Council of South Africa’s mandate and purpose is to enable a thriving and sustainable energy sector that supports inclusive economic growth through South Africa’s energy transition. This is directly supported by the World Energy Council’s focus on enabling a successful global energy transition and their approach to humanising the energy vision through people and communities.  
The energy transition is ultimately a technology disruption and will happen. Interestingly, we have had 14 energy technology disruptions in history and we can think of some basics like sail to steam or animals to the internal combustion engine, but we have never had to shift the biggest global economic sector and related capital flows at the pace now underway. So despite the challenges, global policy will continue to push this change quicker than what markets are ready for and as South Africa we must focus on optimising our own transition within that context.  
When referencing climate change, we must be determined: we only have one planet earth to call home and over the last 50 years we have lost 50% of the planet’s bio-diversity and global consumption has directly pushed us past the sustainable limits on 6 out of 9 planetary boundaries. Unfortunately, we are not on track for 1,5 degrees and the importance of the 1.5 degree climate target is that it is where climate science is unable to reliably predict how nature will react and hence it signifies a break-point of exponentially escalating climate risk. Current global analysis puts us at between 2,2 to 2,3 degrees so we must keep Net Zero as our ambition and the energy transition is fundamental to that.  
I believe that while we all share this global ambition, the reality is that climate change has huge inequalities. We did not equally cause it, we won’t be equally impacted by it and regions, countries and communities are not equally equipped nor can equally afford to respond to climate change.  So we end up with a significant gap between ambition and action as these inequalities create winners vs losers. So understanding and dealing with such inequalities, not just in global terms but also at local levels lie at the heart of ensuring a Just Energy Transition.  
So, we heard this morning, we are well on the road to recovering energy security and moving out of load shedding, but we have to rapidly shift our focus to implementing the largest sector reform we have ever undertaken. The Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill approved by parliament last week has set the stopwatch in motion for us to transition to a market-led and decentralised energy sector. The upside is that this gives clear policy direction to guide investment appetite and business confidence but we must acknowledge that we have lost significant capacity and time, so collaboration and partnerships are key to accelerating our transition.  
I believe the WEC South Africa Committee is a significant step forward in creating more robust and focused energy dialogue, better incorporating multi-stakeholder perspectives and strengthening our drive toward implementation.    
The committee has 50% business representation, which comes from Energy Council members and 50% non-business representation, specifically incorporating government and academia.  
I’d like to thank the World Energy Council for their support to date as well as the Energy Council team, specifically Victor Sibiya, Senior Manager Government Relations and Policy, who will also be the committee secretary and Mihle Mnweba, Associate Government Relations and Policy. As the Energy Council CEO, I will take the role of committee chair.  
On that note, I thank you once again for your support. We will be having a panel discussion with key members of the new committee talking about South Africa’s energy transition at 16:15 on Wednesday 22 May, so please come and listen and keep tabs as this powerful team of respected leaders start to make their presence felt.  
Media Enquiries     
Katharine Child 
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