Experts from Eskom, Toyota and more at September event

“Whether one’s business is in mining, manufacturing, transport, retail, commercial or industrial, the challenges around rising energy costs and rolling blackouts are topmost on the list of risks”, says Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl, programme director of the upcoming Powering African Industry that is taking place alongside the annual Electra Mining and ELENEX expos in Johannesburg in September.

Speakers at the event will include Eskom’s Andrew Etzinger as well as experts from Toyota, Wits University and industry bodies such as the Steel and Engineering Industry Federation of Southern Africa and the Mining and Industrial Energy Optimisation Association. Says Charles Ntsele, the Association’s chairperson: ”the lower than expected year-on-year electricity price increases coupled with the postponement of the introduction of the carbon tax has somewhat weakened the impetus of businesses towards energy efficiency.  Only if and when companies internalise energy efficiency as part of their business processes can they stand ready to capitalise on all opportunities when the inevitable happens.”

Securing energy supply
Power African Industry
aims to assist large businesses to become more sustainable with a secure energy supply along with the added benefits of reduced carbon emissions and access to affordable technologies while reducing overheads.  Says Pombo-van Zyl:  “the dreaded expressions, ‘power outage’ and ‘load shedding’, are here to stay and this is not just in South Africa or even synonymous with the African continent alone, it happens across the globe. Energy efficiency is no longer just a buzz word – there is an urgent need to incorporate energy management strategies into every nook and cranny of business.”

She continues: “currently generation capacity is not sufficient for peak hours, distribution is not reaching all areas and demand is increasing from residential and business needs. The challenge does not stop there as we experienced earlier this year when our coal supplies were put at risk due to heavy rains and the on-going copper theft factor often leaving businesses in the dark.”

Success stories from industry
The Powering African Industry event will present innovations and success stories in energy efficiency, energy management strategies, the use of alternative energy sources, reducing carbon emissions, asset maintenance and demand side management strategies that are key elements of today’s sustainable business development. It includes an energy security workshop that will unpack the unique challenges that intensive energy operations have to tackle and arming attendees with the knowledge needed for taking energy efficiency to new heights.

The programme director adds: “the inaugural Powering African Industry conference is ideally placed alongside the Electra Mining Africa and ELENEX exhibitions bringing the energy efficiency solutions to South African industry. What excites me about this is that when you bring these vendors into the same room as those companies they wish to service, they get to hear more about the challenges first-hand, this is where innovative ideas take shape. The Powering African Industry conference may just be the dawn of a fantastic new technology in compressed air, lighting, pumping or material handling!”

Power African Industry speaker and chairmen line-up includes:

  • Andrew Etzinger, Senior General Manager, Eskom
  • Kaiser Nyatsumba, CEO, Steel and Engineering Industry Federation of Southern Africa
  • Seetsele Seetswane, Grid Access Unit: Technical & Engineering Manager, Eskom
  • Gerswynn McKuur, National Project Manager, Technology Innovation Agency
  • Willie Cronje, Professor of Electrical Machines and Drivers, School of Electrical and Information Engineering, Wits University
  • Charles Ntsele, Chairperson, Mining and Industrial Energy Optimisation Association
  • Sheldon Bode, Environmental Engineer, Toyota South Africa
  • Barry Bredenkamp, COO, SANEDI

Event dates and venue:
Conference sessions:  18-19 September 2014
Venue:  Nasrec Expo Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa


Communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Telephone :  +27 21 700 3558
Mobile:  +27 82 562 7844