Nyamezela is an expert partner for the Utility CEO Forum series that comprises five year-around, by-invitation-only, confidential meetings between African Utility and IPP CEOs from all over Africa and various expert and developmental partners.

The Utility CEO Forum: Central Africa took place in July, while the Southern Africa edition was hosted in August and in September the Utility CEO Forum: East Africa took place – all successfully engaging parties online.

Mrs. Matsotso Vuso, MD of Nyamezela shares some insights:

Mrs. Matsotso Vuso, MD of Nyamezela

What is your main message to the CEOs at these CEO Forums?

Utilities need to venture into smart collaboration during these critical times of the COVID-19 pandemic, i.e;

  • Financial funding – establish partnerships with various financial institutions.
  • Technical – to be in line with new technical innovation (and IoT) and partnerships with suppliers of technical spares for the utility and to be sourced on time.
  • Key customers of utilities should have a common maintenance plan for the grid to avoid technical problems.
  • Skills development – current employees need to be multiskilled and must be able to adapt to any challenges faced within the utility.

What in particular is your advice to utility CEOs to future proof the financial health of their utility?

Smart prepaid metering solutions and innovative tariff structures are key to the financial well-being of utilities. The roll-out of these will see utilities securing revenue, especially during these times.

What has made you feel proud to be part of the energy sector in the last few weeks?

To be part of one of the companies that provide innovative ways of smart metering solutions and services to the utilities.

The utilities are open to new solutions to solve the current challenges to ensure the sustainability for their sustainability of the operations.

Anything you would like to add?

User specifications need to outline fully the challenges that are experienced by utilities so that solutions sourced will address those challenges. There is a wide range of solutions available from metering providers and what is key for utilities is to opt for the right solution and fully use all the available functions.

This is important to the financial viability of utilities and will result in more robust innovative solutions being sourced. Utilities do not engage with meter manufacturers and vice versa as to which meters can be utilised by the relevant customers, when utilities draft meter specifications sometimes the meter specified are more expensive and unnecessary for that particular clientele.

This issue can be mitigated if utilities consult meter manufacturers as to which meters are suitable, robust and applicable to meet consumers needs. This will save the utility from spending unnecessary money.