The EWSETA (Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority) and the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) have entered into a funding agreement with a value of just over R9-million, over the five-year period, to launch the Energy Industry Support Programme (EISP).

The EISP will equip 75 SMMEs with the relevant skills and knowledge, technology know-how and necessary resources to participate in the demanding energy sector, as well as encourage innovation and empower innovators to contribute to the country’s economic development through the energy sector.

It is expected that the EISP will also drive the use of developed intellectual property (IP), through commercialisation of identified technologies that are relevant and that will bring solutions to the current social challenges.

“We are honoured to partner in such an impact-driven capacitation programme that will provide the much-needed skills and support in the energy sector and drive inclusive economic participation of SMEs in the energy value chain. The Programme will also provide an opportunity to empower women and persons living with disabilities, to realise our inclusion objectives,” says Mpho Mookapele, CEO of the EWSETA.

Bernard Magoro, head of Independent Power Producers Office, a procurement vehicle for delivering on the national renewable energy capacity-building objectives, says: “This exciting EWSETA/CSIR initiative, aimed at developing SMMEs to participate in our country’s energy transition, is timely and welcomed. It was wonderful to see so many SMMEs in attendance today and to see first-hand the benefits of this new initiative, one that the IPP Office would be proud to partner with in the future.”