The Black Energy Professionals Association (BEPA) was launched this week and according to Energy Minister Jeff Radebe it will allow black professionals to get their hands dirty and work towards transformation in the energy sector. 

Radebe says the economic structure of the country still does not reflect the demographics and the energy sector is no different. “There is therefore a need for increased and greater participation in the economy by the previously marginalised,” he notes.

“The Black Energy Professionals Association (BEPA) formation will provide a solid platform for Black professionals to share ideas, forge a closer working relationship with government, to influence government energy policy and collaborate,” Radebe says.

IPP set to keep black industrialists busy

With the recent approval and sign-off of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (IPP) Projects, which supports an increase in black participation, the Minister anticipates that BEPA will have their hands full with increasing ownership and building a base for black industrialists.

Minister Radebe says with government’s commitment to an energy mix of electricity, gas and liquid petroleum, the energy sector provides a number of opportunities for black people to enter the sector which is a driver of economic growth.

The Renewable Energy IPP Programme requires a mandatory 40% of South African Entity Participation and black enterprise and broad-based black participation in the form of ownership, economic and socio-economic benefits.

Securing success across the value chain

According to the Minster, with these latest projects, black shareholding of 64.2% of local ownership has been achieved and shareholding by black South Africans has also been secured across the value chain.

“Black ownership and participation in Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) and Operating and Maintenance (O&M) Project Companies have improved under this new round of projects. Around 86%, or 1 748, of the top management jobs of the new IPP Project Companies will be filled by black professionals,” he concludes.