SAPVIA-logoSouth African Photovoltaic Association (SAPVIA)

Mike Levington: (Acting CEO: SAPVIA; Treasurer: SAREC)

Mike has over 25 years’ experience of structuring and marketing commodity and energy transactions in London, New York and South Africa. In 1998, he became Head of Commodities for Rand Merchant Bank (“RMB”), a leading South African investment bank. Within that portfolio, Mike was also responsible for managing RMB’s interest in NUFCOR International Ltd, and the Marketplace Company, a company that specialised in establishing electricity markets and managed the New Zealand and Singapore wholesale electricity markets and the New South Wales gas market. Mike established an energy practice for RMB that advised clients, including large corporates and BEE companies, which were interested in investigating opportunities in the South African energy sector. In 2005, he became Chief Investment Officer of Worldwide African Investment Holdings, a leading BEE investment house that focused on the sub-Saharan energy space. He successfully implemented Worldwide’s entry into the coal-mining sector, and served for a number of years on the Coal Industry Task Team (CITT), a committee representing stakeholders in the coal mining and beneficiation sector. Mike established Navitas Holdings (Pty) Ltd as a general energy investment holdings company in 2008, and which the 100% owner of Kabi Energy (Pty) Ltd, a black-owned and controlled renewable energy development and investment company. Mike has served as a Commissioner on the Management Board of the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) since its foundation in 2010, and was recently elected as Vice-Chairperson. Mike has a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Leicester.

Davin Chown: Chairman

Davin has been involved in the SA renewables sector since 2001 and holds Director positions in Genesis Eco-Energy and Mainstream South Africa and helped to establish both companies in the South African energy market. Davin is a founding member of SAPVIA and currently holds a seat on SAPVIA’s management board and is the association’s Chairperson. He has over 14 years industry and consulting experience working in organisations such as IBM and Accenture, as well as project, commercial, regulatory and policy development related experience in the banking, finance, government, resources and energy sectors. He holds a Masters degree in Management (Wits University) and Sustainable Ecological Management (University of Pretoria). He has worked closely with various private sector, NGO, trade union and Government stakeholders in building the renewable energy (RE) sector in South Africa, and helping to create a policy, regulatory and investment environment favourable to the RE sector. Over the last year Davin has worked closely with industry bodies, civil society and Government in developing the Green Economy Accord, ensuring industry access to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy, shaping the energy inputs to the National Development Plan, working with various Government Departments by convening workshops to remove blockages in regulatory approvals (e.g. water permits workshop with DWA), shaping the local content strategy plan together with the DTI, and helping to initiate discussions with the National Treasury on a range of issues pertinent to the solar industry. Davin has also been involved in the formation of the South African Renewable Energy Council (SAREC).


South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA)

sawea-logo Brenda Martin (CEO: SAWEA; Chairperson: SAREC)

Brenda has worked at senior level in the Southern African development, education and energy policy sectors for over 15 years. In 2007 she initiated a national programme focused on climate-related behavior change. Her work there included the implementation of small scale renewable energy projects and lobbying for energy policy change.

Since 2014 she has worked part-time at the Energy Research Centre (UCT). There and in her personal capacity she has conducted research on energy policy generally and renewable energy and nuclear power, in particular. She has served on the Ministerial Advisory Council on Energy (MACE) since its inception in February 2015.

She has just completed an MPhil in Energy & Development (ERC, UCT, 2016). Her dissertation is on the politics of electricity planning in SA. Brenda has a strong track record as a trusted bridge builder across sectors, an effective fundraiser and a strategic thinker.

Mark Pickering (Position: Chair)

Mark is the general manager of three renewable power companies in South Africa, being the 135 MW Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, the 45 MW De Aar Solar Power plant, and the 45 MW Droogfontein Solar Power plant. Globeleq is the majority shareholder in each of these assets and manages and operates the plants on behalf of all shareholders.

Mark has over 25 years’ experience in power sector issues. He has led numerous advisory processes on power and other infrastructure matters for national government departments, development agencies and local municipalities. He served on South Africa’s National Electrification Forum (NELF) in the early 1990’s, edited the 1998 White Paper on Energy, was a member of the Ministerial Advisory Forum on EDI Restructuring and led the team advising EDI Holdings’ on its legal strategy. For the past ten years Mark has pursued the development, construction and operation of independent power producers in South and Southern Africa.

Mark holds a bachelors and a masters degree (cum laude) in electrical engineering, a post graduate diploma in public policy and development administration (with distinction) and an MBA (with distinction). He has served as chair of SAWEA’s working group on policy and markets for two terms, and as chair of the assets working group for two terms.


Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA)

sessa Carryn Bateman

Carryn Bateman is a chartered accountant (SAICA) with experience in retail, financial and renewable energy sectors. Having completed her articles at Ernst &Young, she moved from audit and assurance into transaction advisory services. Carryn then joined Standard Bank where she worked as a manager in the strategic capital division at a group level. In November 2010, Carryn joined the photovoltaic and renewable energy industry with her appointment to the management team of SunWorx- a company specialising in the commercial/ residential application of photovoltaic technology. She was nominated and voted onto the SESSA PV committee in October 2011 and has been chairman of this committee since March 2012.

James M. Shirley

James began his university studies in Cape Town before moving to the United States and switching to Chemical Engineering at Colorado School of Mines. After work in Canada, United States and Peru on gold recovery projects, he put engineering on hold to pursue a career in sales and marketing management, at which he excelled, before returning to the field as General Manager of Kayema Energy Solutions, a leading integrator of renewable and energy efficient projects in South Africa. In 2010, Kayema was awarded the SAEE “Energy Company of the Year” title, and was also a finalist in the SANEA 2011 “Energy Project of the Year” for the design and implementation of Standard Bank head office’s commercial solar/heat pump hybrid system. In 2012 James was admitted to the Association of Energy Engineers, with the highest score in the country for his CMVP certification exam. In 2013, he was asked to launch the solar business in Southern Africa for Schneider Electric, a position which he currently holds and is very excited to be in. James speaks regularly at conferences around SA, and serves as Chairman of SESSA (Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa).


Southern Africa Solar Thermal and Electricity Association (SASTELA)

SASTELALogo220Ms Ntombikanina Malinga

Ntombikanina was in June 2013 appointed the CEO for Southern Africa Solar Thermal & Electricity Association, where she is leading efforts to develop the Southern Africa market for solar concentration generation and technologies.

Ntombikanina is a curious spiritual soul on a human life experience, an African committed to the advancement of the continent for all its people, a womanist passionate about the plight of the women & youth in society. She is an entrepreneur and founder of UCU Consulting and UCU Foundation. She is a qualified coach was born in Vosloorus on the Eastern townships of Johannesburg, in South Africa.

With a career and working experience in both the private and public sectors and further experience in the non-profit and academic worlds, Ntombikanina Malinga further holds various academic degrees [in law, politics, international studies & business leadership] from local and international institutions. Is a recipient of numerous academic awards: United World Colleges Scholarship [1991-1992 Canada]; Abe Bailey Travelling Scholarship [1997 UK]; United Nations AMUN program [1999 Brazil]; Nelson Mandela Scholarship [1999-2000 UK] and was in 2008/9 awarded the Nelson Mandela Fellowship at Harvard.

Ntombikanina’s interests involve: leadership development and ideas creation [embracing the art of unlimited possibilities], politics [continental and global], travelling, reading, writing, hiking, the arts, live perfomances and spending time in her community and with family.

She is a mother to a beautiful 12 year old and resided around Johannesburg, South Africa.