Renewable Energy: Bridging the Skills Gap in South Africa - CTU Training Solutions

Tuesday 8 November 12:00 - 13:30


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Renewable Energy: Bridging the Skills Gap in South Africa
“South Africa’s energy crisis will require investment, both from the private and public sector, of an estimated R1.2 trillion until 2030, according to Rand Merchant Bank’s (RMB’s) CEO Emrie Brown.” ILO, 10 October 2022
We can all agree that alternative energy resources have never been more important to consider in our country. There is an ever-increasing demand to fill the skills gaps identified in South Africa in the environmental and related fields of which many have been classified as scarce and critical skills areas and thus priority for skills development. There is a need for competent solar PV technicians to facilitate SA Government strategies to shift to renewable energy generation. Wind Turbines are being commissioned for the same reason and local job creation is benefitting with the need for trained local employees. SA wastewater facilities failed the Green Drop standard, leading to our waterways being severely polluted and the system facing eminent collapse. Hydro Power generation forms a critical component of the future energy mix for the supply of base load and peak demand.
South Africa has world class environmental legislation; however, enforcement will always be a challenge in the face of the lack of trained and experienced Environmental Science Practitioners. By attending this webinar you will learn what role renewable and sustainable energy will play in reshaping the future of our country’s economy. You will learn more about the possibility of Government’s Transition Framework – switching from coal-based energy to renewable energy. Is this even possible? You will understand that training and upskilling the workforce can make all the difference to bridge the skills gap. You will learn how Government and the private sector should work together to overcome the energy crisis we are faced with.

Meet the Speakers

Meet Isa Swart


Head of Program for the Faculty of Green Technologies


Isa Swart is the Head of Program for the Faculty of Green Technologies at CTU with a track record as a trailblazer for establishing sustainable and expanding programs that drive awareness and foster stewardship of our natural environment. Appreciation from her previous clients can be summed up by this endorsement: Attending the Regional Green Team meetings championed by Isa were educational and allowed my team to be part of a solution driven platform and an opportunity to network with other properties and to learn from her and each other. A master’s degree in environmental management confirms her passion for lifelong learning not only from every person she meets, but also through academic pursuits. “Unifying multi-disciplinary teams behind a vision ensures continual improvement, making a difference not only in business but in growing people.”

Meet Dr. Abhinanda Barman


Academic Dean


Dr Abhinanda is well-versed in education and is equipped with three master’s degrees in Management and a PhD in Commerce and Business Administration. She is an accomplished leader possessing 18 years of success stories in education. Dr Abhinanda will focus on learning solutions to develop scarce and critical skills. She will head the development of learning methodologies compatible with future technologies.

Meet Carla Hudson


Principal Consultant


Carla has more than twenty years of experience in mine and power station closure, ensuring socio economic upliftment through utilisation of exciting assets. Carla has been involved in project ideation, development and management as well as facilitating social engagements across a broad range of projects for various clients including government, private organisations and international institutions. She is currently employed at ERM as a Principal Consultant. Carla has more than 10 years of experience in sub-Saharan Africa, having worked in Tanzania, South Africa, Ghana and Zambia. Carla’s previous role was as Provincial Manager for Impact Catalyst (IC) and Programme Manager for the Mine Water Coordinating Body (MWCB) ensuring just and sustainable mine and power station closure in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa.

Meet Dr Rethabile Melamu




I am a sustainability professional who is trained in Chemical and Environmental Engineering. I have 15 years’ experience in the areas of clean energy, green economy, environmental sustainability, enterprise development, life cycle assessments and climate change. My experience spans several sectors including renewable energy, waste management, water and sanitation. I am a seasoned professional with a depth of understanding on adoption of innovative climate smart technologies in society. This is backed by experience of running a technology innovation-based incubation programme for almost 6 years. I have solid experience in developing public sector policies and have led the development of sub-national energy and green economy strategies and facilitated their implementation. I sit on several boards and advisory committees of private, academia and the public sectors organisations. I am a thought leader in the energy and green economy sectors, having published reports, thought leadership pieces and academic articles on several platforms in my areas of expertise. I have featured extensively as a speaker on various national and international platforms. I have received recognition for my contribution in the energy sector, notably as a 2017 finalist under the Outstanding Woman in Power and Energy in Africa category at a Africa Utility Week. In 2017, I lead-authored a paper for the prestigious UNDP supported OR Tambo Series of Lectures on Chapter 5 (‘Transition to a low-carbon economy’) of the South African National Development Plan (2030). In 2019, I was recognised by the national Mail & Guardian newspaper as one of Women Who Are Changing South Africa in the Public Sector.

Meet Davin Chown




Davin has led the Genesis Group since 2001 and is responsible for the strategic and operational direction of the business. He has been in the renewable energy industry since 1998. He has a B.Comm (UP), DPLR (UNISA), M.Inst (Agrar)(UP) and Master of Management(MM)(Wits). He has been actively involved in establishing a number of RE industry associations since 2009. He currently serves on the board of the SA Energy Storage Association and represents SAESA on the SA Renewable Energy Council, having helped establish SAREC. From 2012 to 2019 he was Chairperson of the SA PV Industry Association, having been a founder members and serving as its Spokesperson. He served on the SAWEA Board in 2009/2010. Davin served on various industry and Government energy and sustainability advisory bodies. (B.Comm , DPLR (UNISA SBL), Master in Management (Wits) and Master in Sustainable Ecological Management (UP)

Meet Dr Lorren Haywood


Senior Researcher


Dr Lorren Haywood is a senior researcher in the Sustainability, Economics and Waste Research Group within the CSIR’s Ecosystem Services Impact Area. She holds a PhD in Zoology and Environmental Science from the University of the Witwatersrand. Lorren has specialist knowledge and experience in strategic environmental management, sustainability assessment and reporting, risk management, corporate sustainability, the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and the green economy. Her area of research lies in the application of sustainability science towards the development of decision support tools that enable business to transform their current sustainability practices such that they embrace systems resilience and contribute towards the SDGs. She firmly believes that by mean regenerative principles and nature-based solution we can work towards addressing global challenges associated with climate change and biodiversity lose.

Meet Dr Clinton Carter Brown


Chief Commercial Officer


Dr Clinton Carter-Brown joined G7 Renewable Energies as Chief Commercial Officer in May 2022. Clinton has held snr leadership roles in the energy domain in the public and private sectors. He spent 18 years in Eskom, after which he joined the engineering consulting firm Aurecon (with secondment to the Department of Energy IPP Office) and then the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). In 2018 Clinton was appointed as the Head of the CSIR Energy Centre where he steered the CSIR energy research agenda, managing a team of over 50 scientists and engineers. Under his leadership the CSIR Energy Centre has played a central role in shaping and implementing the organisation’s energy research agenda, and provided a knowledge base for the South African energy transition – the move towards a more sustainable and cleaner energy system in which energy is used more efficiently and sustainably. Clinton provides specialist technical support and project, program and organizational management services in the areas of energy systems, energy modelling, utility asset management, power system simulation, electrical grid planning and design, power generation procurement and grid integration. Strategic and leadership abilities have resulted in Clinton being called on to lead various projects and initiatives, and he chaired the 2010 Electrical Supply Industry forum, which coordinated South African electrical supply readiness and operational response for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. In addition to being on Eskom’s Senior Management and Executive leadership training Clinton was selected for the Aurecon Africa “E40” program grooming the top 40 emerging leaders for executive leadership of the organisation. Whilst at Aurecon he also filled the roles of Energy Client Director Africa (Acting) and Major Project Director. Clinton is a registered professional engineer and holds PhD, MSc and BSc degrees in Electrical Engineering. He also sits on the council of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE).

Meet De Villiers Botha




DeVilliers Botha - Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Solareff (Pty) Ltd and currently serving on the Management Committee of SAPVIA. As a former member of the Johannesburg Bar, DeVilliers’ experience as an Advocate adds to his extensive expertise relating to legal, compliance and financial aspects of energy projects, and he is currently championing the drive for enabling regulation. During 2017, Solareff expanded into green mobility through the acquisition of GridCars. Under DeVilliers’ Directorship, GridCars has successfully installed SA’s most extensive EV charging network. DeVilliers is an EV enthusiast, passionate about demonstrating how the Green Lifestyle is possible in SA.

Meet Titania Stefanus-Zincke


General Manager


Experience include community and governmental stakeholder engagement, Transformation, enterprise development, project management, process and plant engineering, operation management, marketing relations, product quality, health and safety management, risk management, human resource management, industrial relations, employer representation at arbitration, mediation and conciliation cases at CCMA, skills development, employment equity. Environmental management, including determining carbon footprint and carbon disclosure reporting, water crisis mitigation including project lead on installation of desalination plants. GRI, SRI and UNGC company reporting, including implementation of human rights principles.

Meet Riccardo Buehler




Riccardo has been working in various roles in the manufacturing, construction, inspection and maintenance sector in Europe and Africa for the last 20+ years. Prior to joining Obelisk Energy and Altitec South Africa, he has been involved in managing multidisciplinary teams in the global O&G sector. During that time and while working with Obelisk Energy and Altitec South Africa in the renewable energy sector, he gained a good understanding of logistical, operational and Health and Safety requirements in the Sub Saharan Africa region. He currently holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Cape Town.

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