Chairperson: Dr Chris Ettmayr (East London Industrial Development Zone)
The Border-Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB) most recent committee is a forum which deals with all matters revolving around energy. This includes both the generation of energy by Independent Power Producers (IPPs) as well as the industrial and manufacturing side of this sector. The Energy Forum has established itself as a voice piece for business and the community which will be able to channel its thoughts and intentions through the forum to reach municipalities, government entities (such as Eskom), Provincial and National Government. The forum has presented comments on energy matters such as Fracking in the Karoo and it has the people, the environment and business at the heart of all its efforts.
This forum is not only a lobby group but it also actively seeks to support IPPs in their efforts of gaining access to the list of private entities supplying energy onto the grid. Along with this mandate, the Energy Forum is also involved in the identification of business opportunities within this new sector and these range from manufacturing of components, provision of skills and training as well as assisting in developing knowledge for research and development in the industry. Some of the key projects that the forum are embarking includes the South African Green Schools Initiative (SAGSI) and Renewable Energy Roadshows, with members showcasing the benefits as well as cost-saving energy efficient initiatives.
The Energy Forum works together with a similar forum which has been established in Port Elizabeth and together they support and would like to see the Province taking up the challenge of establishing this new industry to ensure that energy security improves as well as employment opportunity at the same time. The BKCOB Energy Forum will assist the Renewable Energy sector by all means to ensure that the Border-Kei region becomes a meaningful player in this rapidly growing industry.