The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and the sector at large, mourns the loss of Ntombifuthi Ntuli, the chief executive officer (CEO) of SAWEA, and as South Africa celebrates Women’s month, a loss of a bold and brilliant leader. Ntuli passed away on Friday 13 August 2021.
“Fondly known as Ntombi, she leaves behind two young children and an extended family who will no doubt feel the full extent of this loss,” a spokesperson for the Association said.
Mercia Grimbeek, SAWEA’s chairperson, said: “Ntombi changed the face of the wind industry in our country. She made the industry relatable with her ability to engage with the most stubborn naysayer, helping them to see her point of view and winning everyone over with her charming smile and her calm strength.”
Niveshen Govender, the chief operating officer for the solar PV industry body SAPVIA, said: “The passing of Ntombifuthi Ntuli is a tragic loss to South Africa. A bold and brilliant leader, Ntombifuthi played an instrumental role in South Africa’s energy transition.”
In her leadership role as SAWEA’s CEO, Ntombifuthi’s leadership was defined by her charismatic yet gentle nature, resilience and determination to successfully steer the industry towards playing a central role in South Africa’s energy transition, while being a uniting force.
She drew on her depth of knowledge and talents – crafted over more than 15 years in the energy and related sectors. She built strong bridges throughout the energy sector, founded on her sound logic and ability to see the bigger picture.
Her lobbying efforts for the country’s transition to cleaner power were underpinned by supportive government policy and smooth procurement, which will help to ensure the sector’s exponential growth for years to come.
SAPVIA describes her death as “a tragic loss of a bold and brilliant leader, who was instrumental in South Africa's energy transition. Since her appointment as SAWEA CEO, our two organisations have worked more closely to align the views of the wind and solar PV industries to better meet the needs of our members and society,” Govender said.
“Her commitment to delivering jobs, industrialisation and ensuring broad economic impact of the renewable energy industry will be her legacy and we will continue her work to drive for a just transition that uplifts all South Africans. She will be greatly missed by all in the renewable energy sector, where her knowledge, experience and passion have proven critical in driving the sector forward,” he added.
Energize joins SAWEA, the renewable energy sector, and everyone who knew her, in extending its heartfelt sympathies to Ntombifuthi’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.