Trip To South Africa: 2010
AAEA President Norris McDonald traveled to South Africa on April 4 and returned on April 13 to examine the feasibility of establishing partnerships between American and South African entrepreneurs and businesses to address cooperative energy and environmental projects. The week of programs and meetings is part of an ongoing "United States-South Africa Power Partnership Program." His hosts included Africa Venture Partners (AVP) and Africa Business Group (ABG). Michael Sudarkasa of AVP and ABG facilitated all meetings, tours and events.
Tuesday April 6th: After an "Introduction to South Africa" at the offices of Africa Venture Partners with Eric Wright, Michael Sudarkasa, Paula Jackson, Gregory Boyd & Seth Keshwar-Hill, they met with representatives from the U.S. Consulate for a "Briefing on the South Africa Power and Energy Sector. Attendees included Craig Allen-Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs and Senior Commercial Officer, David K. Young-Minerals/Energy Officer-USA Embassy, R. Bruce Neuling-Economic Officer-USA Embassy, Heidy Servin-Baez-Transportation/ICT Officer-USA Embassy, Bheki Ndimande-Comercial Specialist-USA Embassy, Harry Mohloare-Director-KYD Consulting Engineers Ltd, and Jason Nagy-U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
McDonald attended and gave brief remarks at the "Official Opening Reception" for the USA Week at the L'Entrecote Restaurant in Sandton. USA Week is an annual event that brings together American and South Africa businesses.
Wednesday April 7th: McDonald gave a presentation at the forum held at the Africa Heritage Society Auditorium entitled, "Ensuring An Inclusive South African Energy Sector." After participant introductions, the forum discussed "Affirmative Action in the U.S. Energy Sector: Issues, Reflections and Achievements," "BBBEE in the South African Energy Sector," and "Forging U.S.-South Africa Energy Sector Linkages: Opportunites and Considerations. Kennedy Khabo and Michael Sudarkasa, pictured at right, moderated the forum.
Thursday April 8th: Met with Aurecon Group, a global engineering firm based in Hatfield, Tshwane. Dr. Baholo Baholo - Energy Sector Leader for Aurecon described the company and its projects. A discussion about energy and environment followed.
The first meeting at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) included a discussion about environmental issues with Marba Visagie-Deputy Director: Environment-Industry Development Division. The meeting was held at DTI's Pretoria headquarters. The second meeting included a discussion with Donald Mabusela-DTI Director of The Enterprise Organisation and Thulani Mpetsheni-Director-Electrotechnical Unit. They discussed a broad range of energy and environmental issues related to cooperative development.
McDonald met with two representatives of the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA): Mary Urujeni Kamari-Resource Mobilization & International Relations and Jean Madzongwe-Energy Specialist. The meeting included a very good description of the energy situation in Africa. It also included a thorough description of DBSA and the potential for cooperation between the United States and South Africa.
McDonald met with representatives of SASOL for a discussion about carbon dioxide allowance trading and other energy issues.The meetings included John Sichinga-General Manager-Development & Production and Christopher Kobosha-Portfolio Manager-Government Relations and Public Affairs.
Friday April 9th: Attended an all day forum at the University of Johannesburg themed, "The American Experience In Democratic South Africa, 1994-2010." The South Africa - America Partnership Forum (SAAPF) Colloquium was held at the School of Tourism and Hospitality in the Pretoria Auditorium. Michael Sudarkasa-Africa Business Group, was the conference coordinator, who delivered opening and closing remarks.
Opening remarks were given by: Dr. Derrick van der Merwe-Pro Vice Chancellor-Univ of Johannesburg, Kennedy Khabo-Coordinator-USA Week-Khabo-Mabe On Time, Inc, Moeletsi Mbeki, Deputy Chair-South African Institute of International Affairs.
Panels: EDUCATION: Chair: Dr. Nomfundo Ngwenya-South African Institute of Int'l Affairs, Dr. Ken Simmons, Retired Professor-Univ of CA-Berkeley & Witswatersrand Univ, Dr. Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo, Univ of Pretoria, Ms. Clara Priester-Education USA, ARTS & CULTURE: Chair: Myesha Jenkins-poet, Lebo M-composer, Hotep Idris-Galata-jazz historian & pianist, Antonio David Lyons- actor/writer/performer, Julialynne Walker-Diaspora Activist, BUSINESS: Chair: Gayla Cook-Mohajane-Exegesis Consulting, Courtney Priester, entrepreneur-Past Chair-Democrates Abroad SA, Gaby Magamola-Thamanga Investments, Eugene Jackson-Renaissance Cities of Africa, MEDIA: Chair: Kenneth Walker-Lion House Strategic Comms, Phil Molefe-South Africa Broadcasting Corporation, Brooks Spector-Daily Maverick, POLITICS: Chair: Dr. Garth Le Pere-DAJO Associates, Francis Kornegay-Institute of Global Dialogue, Dumisani Kumalo-Former Ambassador to UN South Africa, Lou Hureston-Democrats Abroad South Africa.
Saturday April 10th: Meeting with Eskom General Manager Louis Maleka and Sol Masolo-General Manager: PR & Communications-City Power. The meeting included a description of the electricity capacity challenges facing Eskom and how the government owned utility planned to meet the country's electricity needs.
Met with the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association. The meeting included Janelle Gravett, Martin Nel and Tim Raaff. They discussed steel production and opportunities in South Africa. A broad range of possible cooperative projects were discussed.
Sunday April 11: Tour of Soweto. Visited Mandela House. Visited Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum. The museum is a national heritage site intrinsically linked to the origins of the Soweto Uprising and its aftermath.
Monday, April 12th: McDonald, Jackson and Sudarkasa met with Kantha Rattay, Legal Consultant to discuss South African energy and environmental issues. The meeting was held at the AVP offices in Sandton.
Met with Vunani, a financial services company that operates through two divisions: Financial Services and Investment Services. Financial Services is composed of the Asset management, investments banking and property business units. Investment Services houses Vunani's strategic empowerment equity investments. the meeting included Reginald Shaver-Head-Debt Advisory and Debt Capital Raising and via teleconference: Anton Nuno-COO and Mark Anderson-Investments Executive Director. The meeting included a broad discussion about carbon offset allowances and other issues.
Final activities: Tours of Alexandra, Pretoria, Soweto & Johannesburg