20 May 2008 – ESI Africa is proud to announce that Christo van Niekerk, power station manager for the Matimba power station, has been announced as the ESI Africa Power Station Manager of the year for 2008.
The award recognises excellence in a project or achievement by a power plant manager over the past year that has led to a remarkable improvement in power plant efficiency or has had benefits for the community or environment.
The announcement was made by Nicholas McDiarmid, managing editor of ESI Africa magazine, during the opening session of the African Utility Week conference in Cape Town. The award was presented by the minister of minerals and energy, Buyelwa Sonjica.
In summing up van Niekerk’s nomination for the award, McDiarmid quoted one of the award judges as an example of van Niekerk’s contribution to the industry:
“Eskom Generation is most probably at a rubicon with regard to the current electricity crises in S.A. It is time for strong leadership, a passion for performance and a very clear concise roadmap of the way forward. Christo has displayed all of these qualities in the last year. Matimba was the top performing power station in S. A. in a time when the Supply was not matching the demand. The short term answer before the new power stations will be coming on line will be to maximise the output of the existing stations. This Christo and his team have done at a pace that is a example to others. Christo definitely deserves this accolade and is a inspiration to others in a time when we are looking for direction."