The Solar PV Association (SAPVIA) is stepping forward into a new decade of solar with its new CEO and a changing of the guard with the election of its new Chairperson. Together they will work to advocate, engage, and influence on behalf of its members to harness the power of solar and capitalise on the opportunities it offers for individuals and all of South Africa.
The Association changes guard with new CEO - Dr Rethabile Melamu and chairperson - Chanda Nxumalo.
SAPVIA, which was officially launched in 2010, held their Annual General Meeting on 09 June 2022 and members democratically elected a new Chairperson and a MANCO. This is the first time in its history that the Association has had a black, female Chairperson working with a black, female CEO.
Chanda Nxumalo takes on the role of chairperson for the solar association, bringing a track record of 13 years delivering in the renewable energy and power sector. She has extensive experience working in technical, business development, and executive capacities in African, American, and European markets. Nxumalo holds a master’s degree in engineering, economics and management from the University of Oxford.
Nxumalo has served as spokesperson and vice-chair for SAPVIA and is currently Director in Harmattan Renewables, a consultancy focused on providing technical, commercial and environmental advisory services as well as asset management for renewable energy projects across sub-Saharan Africa.
Alongside a new chairperson, SAPVIA has also recently appointed Dr Rethabile Melamu as CEO. A chemical and environmental engineer by training, Dr Melamu has become renowned for her international expertise in the green economy and energy sectors. She has leveraged both the theoretical and practical to harness innovative smart technologies to mitigate the impact of climate change in society, with a dedicated focus on African sustainable development.
SAPVIA is a member-led organisation formed with the express purpose of growing the solar PV sector’s role in powering South Africa’s future. The Association advocates, engages and influences on behalf of members to harness the power of solar PV and capitalise on the opportunities it offers companies, individuals and the broader South African economy.
“I am delighted to take on the role of chairperson at SAPVIA and it will be my pleasure to serve alongside our new CEO and our MANCO. The Association is only as strong as our members and together we have achieved so much, but we must work harder to ensure that this new decade of solar realises its full potential,” said Chanda Nxumalo, SAPVIA Chairperson and Harmattan Renewables Director.
“Solar PV continues to demonstrate that it is the least-cost, quickest-to-build option for power generation and we must work to ensure that it contributes even more to the economic upliftment and empowerment of individuals and communities. I am confident that our membership base has the experience, expertise and dynamism to deliver another decade of solar that maximises the opportunity for our members and South Africa.”
The Association’s tenth Annual General Meeting saw the introduction of six commissioners onto SAPVIA’s management board: Frank Spencer (Bushveld Energy); Lena Chirwa (Enel Green Power SA); Maloba Tshehla (ED Platform); Melissa Hill (juwi Renewable Energies); Adv Mtho Xulu (Nashua Group), and Phemelo Mitchell (SunElex Group). These new members will serve a two-year term, ending at the AGM in 2024.
“The new Board has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, and we are grateful for their willingness to commit their time, energy and expertise to building SAPVIA and the PV industry. I look forward to working with them as well as stakeholders across the energy sector and in government to deliver value to our members, the public sector and South African citizens,” said Dr Rethabile Melamu, SAPVIA CEO.
These new members will serve a two-year term, ending at the AGM in 2024. The following current Manco Members will remain in office for the second year of their two-year terms: Chanda Nxumalo, Daniel Goldstuck, DeVilliers Botha and Sunette Smith.
The AGM also marked the stepping down of a number of board members who have worked tirelessly to professionalise the Association and ensure that SAPVIA is a trusted partner to government. Dr Rainer Nowak has given ten years of service, Dr Richard Doyle - three years of service, Norman Moyo - two years of service and Wido Schnabel - MANCO member since 2013 and Chairperson from 2019 to 2022. Wido Schnabel performed the role of chairperson alongside his role as head of strategic alliances and business development for the Middle East and Africa at Canadian Solar.
“I am stepping down from my role as chairperson at a time of great change for the Association. But I know and trust that the operational team, with our new CEO at the helm, will ensure that we capitalise on the opportunities for solar PV. I must thank the Secretariat for their support throughout my tenure, and to the MANCO, who have all given of their time voluntarily, you have my deepest gratitude.
Together the chairperson, SAPVIA MANCO and CEO will work to advocate, engage and influence on behalf of members to harness the power of solar and capitalise on the opportunities it offers for individuals and all of South Africa.
SAPVIA is now the go-to organisation for all matters relating to the development, regulation and promotion of solar PV in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. SAPVIA is governed by a board of nine commissioners and a chairperson elected democratically on an annual basis by its members at the Annual General Meeting. From its rank the management board elects the vice-chairperson, treasurer and spokesperson.
The SAPVIA mission is to vigorously mobilise support for the sustainable growth of solar PV in South Africa and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.