South Africa’s solar industry representative body, the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has appointed Dr. Rethabile Melamu as the new CEO. Melamu takes on the role at a crucial time in South Africa’s energy transition with the country set to procure close to 6GW of new solar energy capacity in this decade alone.
A Chemical and Environmental Engineer by training, Melamu has become renowned for her international expertise in the green economy and energy sectors. According to SAPVIA, she brings on-the-ground experience, having developed sub-national energy, green economy and public sector strategies and policies, from inception to implementation.
“As we celebrate a decade of solar in South Africa, it is fitting that we have at the helm of the Association a driven, experienced and powerful advocate for renewable energy. Dr Melamu comes to SAPVIA with an outstanding track record of delivery. She will lead the organisation into a new era of growth, focussing our strategic direction and ensuring that our members capitalise on the local and regional solar markets,” said SAPVIA Chair, Wido Schabel.
“Dr Melamu’s experience and insight will ensure that we take SAPVIA and solar PV in South Africa to the next level, developing a culture of thought leadership, leveraging credible market intelligence and curating a best practice solar PV value chain,” Schabel added.
Dr Melamu was most recently general manager of Green Economy at The Innovation Hub where she managed a portfolio of 40 green economy start-ups that develop and commercialise clean-tech solutions and technologies that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as the creation of much needed employment opportunities.
She was also Acting Chief Director: Sector and Industry Development at the Gauteng Department of Economic Development where she led the development of 11 economic sector strategies to ensure that the province was transformed, modernised and re-industrialised. In her time at the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, Melamu also spearheaded engagement with private and public sectors, locally and internationally, to stimulate the growth of the Green Economy in the Gauteng province.
“I am delighted to take on the role of CEO and I have no doubt that unlocking largely untapped renewable energy capacity can catalyse the implementation of the country’s sustainable development imperatives, invigorate industrial activity, and deliver meaningful socio-economic value to its citizens,” said Dr Rethabile Melamu.
“As a trusted partner to the government, I foresee SAPVIA and key stakeholders increasingly contributing towards the creation of conducive business and regulatory environments that will unlock market opportunities along the solar PV value chain for the benefit of SAPVIA’s members and the broader sector,” Melamu concluded.