Six SMMEs, within the green energy sector, will showcase their technology and services at this week’s Africa Energy Indaba, when they form part of EWSETA’s (Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority) SMME Village. The SMME Village aims to provide small businesses access to the African energy market. The EWSETA recognises that capacitating SMMEs in the energy sector will facilitate technology transfer, create jobs, drive innovation, and contribute to environmental sustainability in the country.

The Africa Energy Indaba stands as a pivotal platform, fostering knowledge exchange among industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders in the energy sector. By addressing pressing challenges such as energy access, sustainability, and infrastructure development, the conference contributes to the advancement of Africa’s energy landscape.

For Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), participation brings unparalleled networking opportunities, enabling connections with professionals, potential partners, and decision-makers in Africa and globally. The conference serves as a place for SMMEs to explore investment opportunities, showcase innovations, and collaborate on groundbreaking projects. Moreover, the international collaboration facilitated by the event allows SMMEs to tap into global resources, expertise, and technologies. Strategic planning discussions and insights into policies and regulations provide SMMEs with a roadmap for their future involvement in the energy sector.

Additionally, capacity-building elements like workshops and training sessions empower SMMEs to enhance their skills, positioning them to play a more impactful role in Africa’s evolving energy landscape.

“We’ve adopted a strategic approach to support initiatives that will enable SMMEs to contribute to the core business of the energy value chain in South Africa. EWSETA is delighted to offer small businesses the opportunity to exhibit at the continent’s premier energy conference, with the hope of increasing their economic participation,” explains EWSETA Chief Executive Officer, Mpho Mookapele.

The EWSETA has partnered with the CSIR for the development of SMMEs which includes capacity building to technology incubation, over a 5-year period.  The selected SMMEs for participation at this year’s Africa Energy Indaba, present a wide range of innovative sustainable energy services and products. They include Green Movement Energy, LC Dynamics, Grandstage Trading, Tyrec, Mafiri Wireless and Gridbow Engineers and Technical Service.

Green Movement Energy’s Woodie is a low-carbon, high-thermal alternative to traditional coal, crafted from alien invasive tree species, waste timber, and other organic sources. Atoh Tshepo Mothibe, the company’s spokesperson, shares that the idea for Woodie originated when a stakeholder offered cardboard waste only if they took sawdust as well, sparking innovative research and development that led to the product’s creation.Top of Form

LC Dynamics, a South African tech start-up, offers an innovative Solar Photovoltaic (PV) window blind kit showcased at the Africa Energy Indaba. This kit harnesses solar power to provide plug-and-play backup, ensuring critical devices stay charged. Entrepreneur, Lisa Von Benecke, part of the ENEGRO programme, supported by SAICA Enterprise Development, EWSETA, and CSIR, highlights the valuable support received in her entrepreneurial journey. The programme facilitated access to CSIR services, including testing custom solar panels at their advanced facility. Joining EWSETA at the Africa Energy Indaba aims to boost brand awareness and connect with industry stakeholders.

Grandstage Trading (Pty) Ltd specialises in renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies, offering a diverse range of products and services such as geothermal, solar PV, CSP, gasification, incineration, wind energy, pre-heating systems, and LED lighting solutions. Founder Christine Masaiti emphasises the company’s commitment to sustainability and addressing climate change challenges. Despite facing obstacles like technological complexities and market scepticism, Grandstage Trading’s journey fueled its determination to innovate and persevere.

Tyrec (Pty) Ltd,
eager for networking opportunities at EWSETA’s SMME Village, specialises in processing end-of-life tyres to create products like tyre chips, rubber crumbs, recovered Carbon Black, and tyre-derived oil for fuel burners and road transport fuels. Eric Khoza from Tyrec emphasises the environmental benefits, noting that in South Africa, where around 13 million new tyres enter the market annually, they have found valuable alternative products from recycled tyres. For instance, recycled tyre-derived diesel serves as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel.

Mafiri Wireless
specialises in innovative telecommunication, renewable energy, and skills development training solutions, aligning with technological advancements and a growing emphasis on sustainability. Accredited as a training provider, the company focuses on empowering unemployed youth in rural areas. Additionally, Mafiri Wireless collaborates with Independent Power Producers (IPPs), offering wireless connectivity solutions for their solar and wind farms, contributing to a more connected and sustainable future.

Gridbow Engineers and Technical Services is an award-winning Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor, specialising in electrical infrastructure and civil engineering services for the renewable energy sector. Led by Leboneng Mathebula, the company’s mission stems from personal experience, having grown up without electricity. Their goal is to ensure universal household access to electricity, and in response to the country’s current electricity challenges, they actively explore alternative power sources such as solar, batteries, and inverters.

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EWSETA believes that a large part of skills development is enabling small, medium, and micro enterprises the opportunity to benefit from localisation initiatives. CEO, Mpho Mookapele concludes, “Our mission statement is to ensure inclusive economic participation for our energy and water skills development beneficiaries, and this includes our growing and evolving SMME sector.  Showcasing these innovative businesses at the Africa Energy Indaba is part of our continued efforts to create platforms for empowerment, innovation, and business development and we’re excited for the opportunities that this will present to these passionate small business owners.”

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