The second meeting to establish a stakeholder-based Ministerial Renewable Energy Sector Engagement Forum (Resef) and associated Resef Working Group was held online on October 20, during which attendees voted overwhelmingly to ratify the structure of the forum and the names proposed by the renewable energy sector stakeholders for the seats on the forum.
The ultimate intended purpose of the Resef is to establish a legitimate, ongoing platform of communication and engagement between the renewable energy sector and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and Minister Gwede Mantashe around identified renewable energy issues, in the national interest.
The forum is intended to enable the sector to speak with one voice to deal with bottlenecks that may be impeding the implementation of government policy and planning commitments in respect of the delivery of renewable energy in the country.
The first meeting was held in response to this call by the Minister.
He commended the engagements and outcomes of the first meeting.
To follow up, the second meeting aimed to ratify the nominated seats on the Resef; to ratify or elect five renewable energy sector experts nominated to the Resef Working Group; and to present the names of the ratified seats on the forum and working group to the Minister following the meeting.
The second online meeting entailed intensive discussions, debates and polls around the structure and nominations for the forum and the working group.
Following this, all the nominations for the Resef were ratified, with an overwhelming vote of 92% of participants voting yes to ratify the names proposed by the renewable energy sector stakeholders for the 28 seats and 28 alternates.
The Resef would be stakeholder-based, with 28 seats allocated to represent different stakeholder interests in the renewable energy sector, as well as 28 alternates.
This is broken down as follows: Six seats and six alternates to government and government agencies; one seat and one alternate to municipal electricity; one seat and one alternate to State-owned power utility Eskom; one seat and one alternate to organised business; one seat and one alternate to organised labour; five seats and five alternates to renewable energy industry associations; one seat and one alternate to energy intensive industry; one seat and one alternate to manufacturers; one seat and one alternate to commercial banks, one seat and one alternate to national development finance institutions (DFIs); one seat and one alternate to international DFIs; one seat and one alternate to academics and researchers; one seat and one alternate to specialist renewable energy consultants and economists; one seat and one alternate to professional associations; one seat and one alternate to civil society, nongovernmental organisation and foundations; three seats and three alternates to ad hoc seats; and one seat and one alternate to community-based organisation (CBOs).
Initially, when the meeting began, there were four seats plus four alternates for ad hoc seats. However, following discussion and debate, participants indicated that there should have been community participation from first meeting, and that them not being included was an oversight. Therefore, participants voted to allocate one of the ad hoc seats to CBOs, with this decision then subsequently ratified.
Nominations for each of these 28 seats and their alternates were submitted from each clusters’ companies, industry associations, and others, prior to the meeting. This was then presented to attendees, who, through a poll, ratified these as alluded to above, with 92% in favour of the structure and names.
In terms of the working group, renewable energy sector stakeholders submitted nominations for seats on this prior to the meeting. This comprised a total list of 17 names up for consideration, for five available seats – with the number of five seats agreed upon during the first meeting.
The Resef Working Group was proposed to comprise five sector or subject specialists acting in their personal professional capacities. They would execute the work outlined by the Resef, and would be accountable to them.
However, during the course of the meeting, participants voiced their concern that there was some overlap of people nominated for Resef with those nominated for the working group.
Therefore, a poll was held, with 59% voting that dual representation should not be allowed.
To acquiesce this majority, discussion unfolded on the best course of action to adapt the Working Group nomination list. Ultimately, a final poll was held which indicated that the Forum would instead be responsible for appointing members of the working group, with 63% voting in favour of this.
The ratified structure and list for the Resef will now be presented to the Minister and DMRE, which will elect their own representatives for their relevant department seats.
The ratified Resef will meet within the next month for their first meeting, with their work now set to begin, and the working group to be established.