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Minister Blesses new SERA Board- 11 May 2016

The Swaziland Energy Regulatory Authority Offices were yesterday graced by the visit of the Honourable Minster of Natural Resources and Energy, Minister Jabulile Mashwama, who had come to meet and bless the newly appointed Board Members of the Authority. The Minister was accompanied by the PS of the Ministry, her PA and a few other staff members from the Ministry.

Present in the meeting were the Board members and SERA staff members, including the CEO, Mr Vusumuzi Mkhumane, who directed the program of the day. The Minister’s sole visit to the Authority was to meet the SERA Board, but she was impressed to realise that part of the program included a presentation by the different SERA departments on planned activities for the next two years, in line with the approved strategic plan. These presentations covered most of the activities that the Authority plans to accomplish as part of their mandate.

In her remarks, the Honourable Minister was quite impressed with all the presentation and the professionalism shown by the presenters, who clearly showed that they knew what their roles involve in the organisation. She pledged her support in ensuring that the Authority accomplishes most, if not all, of the activities that they presented in their plan. She mentioned that she was more particular about the plans for the Authority to implement consumer awareness initiatives, as the Authority was still young and not known by the public, yet there is a lot of activities that the Authority has done in the few years that it has been in operation. She also went on to remind the Authority that they are the most important entity in the country in ensuring that the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) in Swaziland improves, as in the current moment, the country is faced with serious challenges with regards to electricity. She emphasised that the board has a huge role to play in leading the Authority in the right direction towards attaining a self-sustained status for country in the ESI. Currently, the dependence on importing electricity from South Africa is not an ideal situation for the country, hence SERA has to look for opportunities to strengthen the ESI by ensuring that Swaziland gets to a point where she can self-generate enough for her local demand and also export some of her surplus to the neighbouring countries.

The Honourable Minister then introduced the new Board of the Authority, clearly explaining how she got to appoint each one of them, and the skills that they possess that she believes will go a long way in helping take the Authority to the next level in the ESI. She pledged her support and confidence in the new Board and also went on to appreciate the CEO for the wonderful work ethic that he has displayed in the three years that they have worked together. She also applauded the CEO for the team that he has appointed, which she believes will take the Authority to the next level. She went on to emphasise that this sector, the energy industry, is the heart of the nation, hence this entity is very close to her heart. She highlighted that, for industrialisation to improve in the country, energy is one area that has to be guaranteed for investors.

After this introduction of board members, the Chairman of the board, Mr Clinton Simelane, made a few remarks in appreciation to the Honourable Minister for entrusting them with the role of leading this entity. He mentioned that, in the few occasions that he has had interactions with the Minister, he has realised that her support towards the board and the Authority is undoubted. He appreciated the Minister for the speed she has always responded in any issues presented to her office, despite her busy schedule. He appreciated the Minister for her brilliance in selecting a board that possessed diverse skills which all blend well with the different units in the Authority and believes the Board is ready to take the Authority to greater heights. He also minced no words to appreciate the SERA CEO and the Senor management for the wonderful work that they have done so far, and also the working relationship that they have with the Board.

The meeting, which lasted for about two hours, was then adjourned because the Minister was rushing for another meeting in the afternoon.