10 October 2016 - In the address at the Association of Municipal Electrical Utilities’ (AMEU’s) 65th convention recently, Des van Rooyen, the minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), and the Acting Executive Mayor of Emfuleni Local Municipality, Cllr Nomvula Thulo congratulated the newly elected president of AMEU, Mr Moferefere Tshabala.
Both dignitaries, heart-warmingly airing that Tshabalala’s 20 years of experience in the electricity field positions him as “right man for the job”. Tshabalala was sworn in as the president during the conference held at Emerald Casino and Resort on the 3rd of October 2016.
The proud employee of Emfuleni Local Municipality assured that he will carry out the mandate of the office with dignity and diligence during his reign of two years. Closest to his heart is the initiative of Women in Electricity (WIE). “Committing to eradicating the gender gaps must be prioritized”, said Tshabalala when he pronounced his dedication to ensure young women in electricity are mentored, afforded a fair opportunity in the electrical power industry. He uttered the need for industries and municipalities to work together, challenging all utilities and associates to embark on traing and skills development of future engineers.
Minister Van Rooyen commended AMEU for its meaningful contribution in the key areas affecting electricity sector. Affirming that electricity is an essential contributor to improvement of people’s lives, he proposed a move towards closing gaps of access of electricity in informal settlements. Theft and vandalism which were noted as the “key devils” that plague the municipalities “often collapsing the electricity network”, said the Nomvula Thulo. As an association of municipal electricity distributors, as well as national, parastatal, commercial, academic and other organizations, this association is well positioned to bring coordinated efforts that can find lasting solutions to the industry.
Tshabala promised that he will ensure that AMEU focus its energies at forging relationships between municipalities and industries. “Working is silos will be a thing of the past”, he said. Among others, Tshabalala aired heartfelt appreciation to his wife whom he reffered to as “a friend and a partner” who have supported him all the way.
The four-day conference was a huge success, drawing over 450 delegates from all over the country, with 43 municipalities represented and 80 companies represented.
By: Anita Sehlabo