Chanda Nxumalo, a director of Harmattan Renewables, has been chosen as chairperson of the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA), a trade association for the renewable energy sector.
Nxumalo’s election, according to SAPVIA, sees her join Dr. Rethabile Melamu in making history as the organization’s first black female chairwoman to collaborate alongside a black female CEO.
Dr Melamu, a chemical and environmental engineer, took over as SAPVIA CEO last month.
SAPVIA, which seeks to grow the solar PV sector in SA, says the new leadership will now “lead the organisation into a new decade of solar”.
The association, which was launched in 2010, held its annual general meeting (AGM) last week, during which the new leadership was elected together with a management committee.
In a statement, SAPVIA says Nxumalo has a 13-year record of delivering in the renewable energy and power sector, making her an ideal candidate to lead the association.
“She has extensive experience working in technical, business development and executive capacities in African, American and European markets. Chanda holds a masters in engineering, economics and management from the University of Oxford,” reads the statement.
“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 management committee,” Nxumalo says.
“The association is only as strong as our members and together we have achieved so much, but we must work harder to ensure this new decade of solar realises its full potential.
“Solar PV continues to demonstrate it is the least-cost, quickest-to-build option for power generation and we must work to ensure it contributes even more to the economic upliftment and empowerment of individuals and communities.
“I am confident 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.”
SAPVIA’s 10th AGM also saw the introduction of six commissioners onto the management board: Frank Spencer (Bushveld Energy), Lena Chirwa (Enel Green Power SA), Maloba Tshehla (ED Platform), Melissa Hill (Juwi Renewable Energies), advocate Mtho Xulu (Nashua Group) and Phemelo Mitchell (SunElex Group).
These new members will serve a two-year term ending in 2024, when SAPVIA holds its next AGM.
“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,” says Dr Melamu.