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Niveshen Govender set to lead SA’s wind industry as CEO of SAWEA

The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has announced the appointment of Niveshen Govender as CEO, who undertakes a leading role in driving the country’s transition to a greener economy as South Africa accelerates its efforts to decarbonise its power sector and increase its energy availability.

Govender brings along a vision founded on predictable and continued procurement with a focus on industrialisation policy and incentives to build more and better local capabilities, in order for the wind industry to compete with international markets whilst supporting local manufacturers to become competitive for export markets.

With twelve years in the green economy environment, Govender certainly has ample experience to tackle this ambitious undertaking. SAWEA believes that in this new role, he will be able to capitalise on his diverse knowledge and depth of experience, which ranges from carbon management and climate change to flagship energy project implementation as well as formulating and applying energy policy. Furthermore, his most recent position as COO at SAPVIA, represents his passion for renewable energy and showcases his tireless dedication to advocating on behalf of members through engagement with government on various levels.

Niveshen Govender, SAWEA CEO

“Some of my immediate efforts will be afforded to maintaining key stakeholder relationships, advocating for an enabling policy and regulatory regime, encouraging the transformation and localisation agenda to contribute to the energy transition, building research and information sharing capabilities, promoting representation by managing the membership and enhancing the organisation’s operations,” explains Niveshen Govender, who has an extensive understanding of policy directives as well as industry capability.

Govender takes the lead at a pivotal time in the country’s energy transition, with the sector having created a lasting impact with more than 3.4GWs of installed capacity, R80.5 billion in inward investment and 30 000 jobs realised.

“The wind energy sector can do even more.  Building on the learnings, it is time to map out and analyse the local manufacturing landscape, looking at the local strengths and capabilities and capitalise on them to reap potential benefits and forge a new era that will witness the industry playing its part in the country’s economic recovery,” added Govender. 

SAWEA operates as a common law, voluntary, not-for-profit association that represents the South African wind industry, led by a Board that is primarily concerned with issues of governance and strategy. 

Mercia Grimbeek, was re-elected as the Chair of SAWEA in 2021, leading the association with her vision to see wind power continuing to be a positive driver of transformation and growth in South Africa.  The SAWEA board comprises: Mercia Grimbeek (Head of Project Development: ENERTRAG); Mamoso May (General Manager – Dorper Wind Farm); Mark Tanton (CEO – Red Cap Energy); Dhesen Moodley (Managing Director – Globeleq South Africa Management Services); Janek Winand (Managing Director South Africa – Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Pty Ltd); Jason van der Poel (Projects partner and Head of Energy Sector – Webber Wentzel, a leading African law firm); Louise Paulsen (MD – Vestas South Africa); Robert Skjodt (CEO – Biotherm Energy); Peter Carl Venn (Managing Director – Windlab); Davide Pasi (Head of Development – Red Rocket South Africa); Titania Stefanus-Zincke (General Manager – Mainstream Asset Management South Africa); Nontokozo Nkosi (Head of Commercial Office – Enel Green Power South Africa)

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