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#WomensMonth: Renewables, sustainability and singing in the car

Nomzamo Landingwe Macoso is broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) strategist at Nordex Acciona Wind Power. She manages high-level strategic collaborative relationships with key internal and external stakeholders, including funding partners, communities and local business on all aspects of socio-economic development in the areas where the company's wind farm projects are located.
Nomzamo Landingwe Macoso

Bizcommunity BBBEE detractors label it, in many instances, as window dressing or fronting. What do you think still needs to be done to make BBBEE about real empowerment and transformation?

I believe that corporates in South Africa need to find a business case for the inclusion of black people into the economy. The renewable energy industry is a post=democratic sector set to reform the country's energy programme, it then lends an opportunity to do things differently in the creation of meaningful opportunities both in employment and strategic business ownership. The BBBEE legislation provides a framework that guides business and government in ensuring that transformation does indeed take place. It is equally a voluntary duty for any strategically responsible corporate to acknowledge the country’s needs regarding transformation and the inclusion of all people.

BizcommunityHow did you come to be involved in the renewables sector?

In 2012-2013 I met a recruiter, Sarah Stands, who enticed me into this sector with the opportunities that exist. At first I was not interested as I thought it only focused on the technology (grid, gigawatts..etc.) and not necessarily within my interest of social justice and development. After many calls I finally read up on REIP4 and shared with a family member who was instrumental in the establishment of REIP4. I was sold when Nordex advertised in 2014, as the role needed BBBEE and transformation specialisation, which is my strength.

BizcommunityWhy is renewable energy important to the South African economy?

As I said the renewable energy industry was initiated by post-apartheid government, the industry is principled through sustainable development values. By virtue of having sustainability as a principle, it then is obliged to not repeat the imbalances of the past and seek inclusive solutions in doing business. The South African market still presents growth opportunities for the industry and the geographical location (largely rural) attracts positive prospects for underdeveloped and under resourced locations of the country.

BizcommunityTell us about some of the socio-economic growth you've seen in the wind farm project areas

The Dorper Wind farm is set apart from most of the windfarms in the Eastern Cape and is linked with only two distinctive towns, Molteno and Sterkstroom. The Nordex Education Trust initiated a bursary programme in this area, the interest in the bursary has grown tremendously as the learners from these high schools have some hope to further their studies, be it in FET colleges or tertiary institutions. It is important to remember that these learners would not have had a chance had they been competing at a national bursary level. I believe that both the Dorper Wind Farm and the Nordex Education Trust will be able to measure positive developmental results within a 10-year period in improving the lives of young people in these towns and that this positive development has been catalysed by the establishment and location of the Dorper Wind Farm.

BizcommunityWhat is your secret indulgence?

Following Paulo Coelho and Angela Makholwa’s work, and singing aloud in my car.
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About Nicci Botha

Nicci Botha has been wordsmithing for more than 20 years, covering just about every subject under the sun and then some. She's strung together words on sustainable development, maritime matters, mining, marketing, medical, lifestyle... and that elixir of life - chocolate. Nicci has worked for local and international media houses including Primedia, Caxton, Lloyd's and Reuters. Her new passion is digital media.