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Business and Government Mitigating the Effects of the Energy Crisis

March 27, 2015 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am

South Africa is in the midst of an energy crisis. With the ongoing issue of reliable power supply, business activity is curtailed which impacts on economic growth. For heavy users of electricity such as manufacturing companies, Eskom has asked for a reduction of up to 20% of usage. South Africa can ill afford this impact on profitability, employment, and job creation, and some estimates predict a 0.4% reduction in GDP from the crisis.

But what is the extent of Eskom’s delivery capability – what is the real state of the infrastructure backlog, when will Medupi contribute significantly to the grid, and when will nuclear power and renewable energy make a real contribution to the power grid? With various programmes and proposed solutions in discussion in the Western Cape (WC), what plans are there for energy security and what can businesses put in place to ensure productivity?

Join us as we hear from Jim Petrie, Energy Director in the WC Government for an overview of South Africa’s energy reality and the plans that the WC Government have in place to help businesses. We also hear from Colin Devenish, Executive Manager of Operations at the V&A Waterfront on how the V&A is managing demand and new generation of energy, and the opportunities for business through alternative energy sources.

Our Speakers

Jim Petrie is Energy Director in the Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism. In this role, he has oversight of all energy matters, and, more widely, their impact on promoting a Green Economy. This includes energy strategy, renewable energy opportunities, and resource efficiency. A Scottish chemical engineer by background, with close to 40 years professional experience, Jim holds concurrent academic positions of Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney, Australia; Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa; and Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey, UK. He is working currently to promote the potential of Western Cape markets for the importation of natural gas, including detailed analysis of import terminal infrastructure options, environmental impact assessment, and the broader socio-economic impact assessment of the gas importation opportunity.

Colin Devenish is the Executive Manager of Operations at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, one of South Africa’s most iconic and visited destinations. Colin joined the V&A Waterfront in 2008 and is responsible for safety, security, cleaning, parking and all technical services. He chairs the V&A Waterfront’s Sustainability Committee, and under his guidance the V&A Waterfront achieved a Gold rating on the Heritage Environmental Rating System and various other awards. He was also integral in implementing practices which led to it being awarded Best Destination at the World Responsible Tourism Awards, for its focus on sustainable development and the role it plays in creating jobs and boosting the local economy. Colin is also involved with the various Technical Working Groups at the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) and has presented lectures on behalf of the GBCSA and to UCT Honour students.


March 27, 2015
8:00 am - 10:00 am