Dept of Energy encourages women to get involved in the energy sector

BY ZANDISIWE POLTIN - OCTOBER 29, 2015

The Department of Energy hosted a workshop at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, in hopes of encouraging Eastern Cape businesswomen to get involved in the energy sector.

Speaking at the event, Chief Director of the Department of Energy (DOE), Elizabeth Marabwa, said the women of Port Elizabeth should take advantage of the fact that the Bay is known as the windy city.

“As the government we are here to change the story of women in South Africa. As Port Elizabeth is known as the wind city, we are here to tell women of Eastern Cape that the wind can be changed into renewable energy resources. That is the new story that many people didn’t know,” she said.

Representatives from the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) were also in attendance, in order to provide the crowd with information on what steps to take when starting a business.

“The government has put in place quite a number of policies and support instruments but most of the people don’t know about them. You need to know and learn about these government policies so that you can be able to knock on the door of the Department of Energy,” said Nomvula Makgotlho of DSBD.

One of the attendees East London businesswoman, Lorraine Zantsi, said that the workshop came at the right time, adding that women now have the opportunity to get involved.

“Gone are the days when women’s work was only in the kitchen. Today we got to learn about the opportunities made available for us as women that we didn’t know. We also want to get involved,” she told RNews.

According to the DOE Communications Chief Director, Thandiwe Maimane, the Department has been able to provide electricity for about 86% of the country so far.

However, she added that the Eastern Cape remains one of the three provinces that were identified as energy poor provinces, and urged everyone to continue using electricity wisely.