CEO Voice: 5 May 2020

CEO Voice: 5 May 2020

Dear Members,

We are pleased to share our Windaba 2020 plans, which we’ve been working on behind the scenes since early this year.  This annual flagship event is a significant income driver for SAWEA, after membership fees.  So, to safeguard our 2020 financial position, we are putting our joint efforts into ensuring that the conference will succeed and planning for various scenarios that take COVID-19 into account.

Windaba 2020 will take place on 3 to 4 November 2020 under the theme “10 Years & Beyond: Wind Power Leading Two Decades of Energy Transition”. This theme reflects the past 10 years, from the birth of our industry and when we launched the very first Windaba Conference.  A decade later, we celebrate 2GW installed capacity and a further 1.4 GW under construction. It is also an anticipation of the next ten years, where the industry will experience exponential growth following the implementation of IRP 2019, which allocates 1.6GW of wind energy per annum for the next decade.

The Windaba Steering Committee, comprising Working Group Chairs and two Board representatives, is tasked to provide guidance and input on the Awards and Programme, amongst other things. After amicably parting ways with our previous service provider, a new event management partner, Messe Frankfurt, has been successfully appointed, following a RFP.  This well-established event management company will lead a co-located Windaba, with Solar Power Africa (4 to 6 November 2020).

While we look forward to celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Windaba, we have put contingency plans into place, considering COVID-19, which requires for us to plan for various scenarios. The most optimistic scenario is that we get to Level 2 lockdown by late June and we have sight of whether local air travel will be allowed by November, which will enable us to confirm plans of a physical conference. In this scenario, we plan to have a physical conference blended with virtual elements in order to accommodate international participants in case international travel is still banned.

The second scenario will require us to plan for a fully virtual conference. The third scenario is to postpone Windaba to February 2021, in order to have a fully physical conference, assuming that by that time COVID-19 will be over, or down to manageable levels.

I’d like to emphasize that for now we are planning for a physical conference in November, and we will keep members informed should any firm decisions be made regarding the other two scenarios.

I wish you all good health during these trying times. Stay home. Stay Safe. Wear a Mask.

Ntombifuthi Ntuli

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