Mark has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering and a postgraduate degree in energy and development studies. His work experience ranges from remote area power supply design optimisation and implementation in rural areas, through to national and city policy development using participatory techniques.
After working for a number of years in the civil engineering industry, he moved into the field of energy and development at the Energy for Development Research Centre (EDRC) at the University of Cape Town. In 1993 he, with two others from EDRC, established the Energy & Development Group cc (EDG) with a particular focus on implementation of sustainable energy projects. EDG successfully undertook a large range of projects over more than a decade. As a natural progression of the kind of work that EDG was attracting, Mark co-founded Sustainable Energy Africa in 2001.
Some of Mark’s work includes integrated energy planning for the South African government, impact assessment of rural electrification projects, promoting access to electricity in the SADC region, leading a team of specialists in the development of Botswana's energy policy, promoting the use of solar pumping for the Department of Water Affairs, petroleum sector policy and capacity building and economic analyses of low income household energy options. He has recently been involved in developing Energy and Climate Change Strategies for several cities around South Africa. Amongst these was Cape Town - the first city in South Africa, in fact in Africa - to have such an integrated planning approach to energy. SEA has pioneered a city-based approach to transforming a country’s energy future.
Mark has also been the driver behind the Sustainable Living Centre, a virtual site to promote access to sustainable goods and services in South Africa. He is also a partner in the building of the first "future normal" green office building in Cape Town.
Peta has a degree in Sociology from the University of Essex and a Master of Science in Social Administration and Social Work Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Peta worked in the field of psychiatric social work in the United Kingdom for many years, working with adults suffering from a wide range of mental health problems. After her return to South Africa in 1996 she moved into the development sector and took a position at Community Development Resource Association (CDRA), an NGO working in the field of organisational development and training. She held leadership and management responsibilities which included strategic thinking and direction, financial management, fundraising and maintaining the organisation’s internal learning processes. She left CDRA to set up her own consultancy practice bringing together her therapeutic/social work skills and experience in leadership and management to work with NGOs in building their core leadership and management. She worked with a number of organisations in Southern Africa offering a range of services including an evaluation, mentoring individuals, organisational reviews, strategic planning, and administrative and leadership team processes.
Peta joined SEA in March 2008 as the new Managing Director. She has worked on a number of projects including developing an energy strategy and implementation plan for Gauteng province, setting up a conference on climate change, developing an exhibition to take to COP 15 to showcase climate change projects within South Africa. She has facilitated workshops and given presentations on climate change and energy efficiency. Her key responsibilities lie in developing the internal sustainability of the organisation which has included holding the organisation’s strategic focus and the annual strategic planning workshop, developing a learning programme for the organisation and overall management of internal processes.
She is a Trustee of the Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust and a member of the Executive Committee.
Megan has a BA degree in Economics, English and History, with a postgraduate degree in African history. Her work experience includes participatory research, policy development and development practice work in the land reform and rural development sector; freelance journalism and education materials development; and training, capacity building and project management in sustainable city energy planning and implementation.
During her time at the Surplus People Project, a 20-year old land reform NGO, Megan was responsible for the research and development of the national Commonage Policy (one of the country’s three land reform policy mechanisms), as well as project managing a number of community land reform initiatives. This was followed by four years of freelance research, writing and project management work. Megan managed a two-year project for the Table Mountain National Park involving the establishment and training of 10 community collectives as alien vegetation clearing teams. She worked as a journalist for literacy newspaper, the SA Reader, developed SAQA aligned learning materials for the West Coast College and conducted social research for PLAAS (Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies), the City of Cape Town, the University of Cape Town HIV/AIDS support unit and the West Coast National Park, amongst others.
Megan joined Sustainable Energy Africa in 2004. Megan has worked in the ongoing development of SEA’s ten-year old, award-winning Sustainable Energy for Environment and Development Programme (SEED) and associated learning network of cities across South Africa and currently manages the City Energy Support Programme of SEA. This has involved network development, capacity building, technical research and support for cities, materials development and lobbying and policy engagement with national government, including engagement with the national climate response, sustainable development framework and electricity crisis response. Megan has been involved in the development, planning and running of Masters level courses in City Energy Planning, in partnership with the Sustainability Institute of the University of Stellenbosch and the Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town. Megan also managed the work that resulted in the first State of City Energy Report of 2006 and the City of Cape Town SMART Living Handbook.
Yachika has an MSc in Energy Studies from the University of Cape Town. She is currently employed at Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA) as Project Manager of the SEED Programme and involved in a number of exciting projects which include: 1) supporting cities to build workable systems to facilitate the mass roll out of renewable energy and energy efficiency, 2) promoting the integration of an eco-systems approach in urban development processes and 3) identifying key elements of urban resilience in slum/informal urban communities and working to practically include these in city and national services delivery frameworks. During her 6 years of employment at SEA, Yachika has worked across a spectrum of projects focused on rooting sustainable energy approaches and practices in urban development planning and management processes across South Africa.
Whilst studying for her Masters degree at the Energy Research Centre (University of Cape Town), Yachika was employed as a research assistant participating in energy research as it relates to poverty reduction and climate change. One of the projects in which she was principally involved, entailed an in-depth analysis of energy transitions in fuel use that occur among low-income households in South Africa. This culminated in a research paper which she co-presented with her supervisor at the Energy Transitions Workshop held jointly by Stanford University (CA, USA) and the University of Cape Town in 2004.
Prior to her Masters degree, she worked in the field of Information Systems in software development; creating, designing and developing information systems for corporates in South Africa. Soon after completing her Honours degree in Environmental and Geographical Science, she worked in the United Kingdom for 2 years as a research assistant at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WILDCRU), Oxford University as well as the Haematology Unit, and Guys Hospital in London primarily involved in analysing statistical data related to research in the respective fields.
Andrew started working at SEA in January 2007. He is an electronic and electrical engineer having graduated from UCT in 1992. Andrew worked in the project management field for five years, before taking an extended sabbatical to pursue a career in music. His concern for the growing crises facing the planet led him to his current position at SEA.
Andrew has been involved in city and provincial energy modelling and long term renewable energy and energy efficiency planning. His primary focus area has been working towards the mass implementation of solar water heaters in South Africa through legislation and financial mechanisms. This includes the Cape Town efficient water heating bylaw and city mass rollout approaches for both low and mid-high income households.
Other areas of involvement have included managing the TRAN:SIT sustainable transport capacity building programme in partnership with the City of Cape Town, and the Clean Energy Governance Programme for the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, which aims to pass a Sustainable Energy Act for the province.
Melusile Ndlovu joined Sustainable Energy Africa as a project co-ordinator in August 2009. At SEA he is involved in projects promoting integration of sustainable energy practices within urban developments in South Africa. His previous work experiences include working for the provincial government of the Western Cape, EcoAfrica Environmental Consultants and General Beltings t/a Pigott Maskew, Zimbabwe. He has experience in the following fields: occupational health and safety (OSHAS 18001), environmental (ISO 14001) and quality (ISO 9001:2000) management systems, housekeeping, stakeholder engagement processes, environmental regulation, environmental impact assessment (EIA), knowledge management, integrated coastal resource management, environmental regulation, environmental monitoring and auditing.
Melusile is following relevant climate change activities under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, has an interest in renewable energy technologies and their transfer to developing countries, greenhouse gas accounting (inventories), sustainable community development and the role of energy in poverty reduction. He read for his master of philosophy in environmental management at the University of Stellenbosch, specialising in climate change and the clean development mechanism (CDM) 2008. He also holds a bachelor of science honours degree in environmental science from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Zimbabwe.
Zanie has BSc degree majoring in Environmental and Geographical Science, Ocean and Atmosphere Science, and Archaeology from the University of Cape Town, with a BSc (Hons) degree in Atmosphere Science. She started working at Sustainable Energy Africa in 2008, after an internship in the City of Cape Town’s Environmental Management Resource department. Zanie’s main focus areas and areas of interest include writing and energy modelling, using programmes such as EnergyPlus and LEAP (Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning). She has been involved in the LEAP modelling that is being used to advise the City of Cape Town on its LTMS (Long Term Mitigation Scenarios) plan to move towards a sustainable and renewable energy future.
Zukiswa obtained a diploma in Bookkeeping, Personnel and Training Management, and a Higher Certificate in Human Resource Management from Damelin School of Management. She also obtained a certificate in Office Administration from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and completed an Introduction to Financial Accounting with Rosebank College. She is currently undertaking a B Com degree in Accounting Science for Financial Accounting through UNISA. She worked for the Western Cape Education Department for four years as an Administration Clerk. Zukiswa joined Sustainable Energy Africa in November 2006 as a Financial Assistant and a Project Administrator. She currently holds an Office Co-ordinator position. Her duties involve company legal standing, human resources, information and communication technology, finances and general office administration.
Chantal studied at Northlink College for two years after matriculating and obtained her N4 and N5 National Financial Management certificates. She worked at Nedbank for five years and Absa for three years. Chantal joined Sustainable Energy Africa in February 2012 as an Office Administrator and Project Administrator and is currently involved in various projects.
Simisha Pather-Elias joined SEA in March 2013 as a project co-ordinator. She attained a Masters degree in Biotechnology from Rhodes University in 2005 and thereafter worked as a Scientific Officer at UCT in the Bioprocess Engineering Research Unit, working on several projects relating to environmental sustainability. Her interest in energy, particularly relating to sustainable development, led her to pursue a Masters degree in Energy and Development at the Energy Research Centre at UCT. Her research focus was on low-carbon-based energy options for the food retail sector in South Africa, which included both energy efficiency technologies and renewable energy. She completed her degree in 2011.
Since working for UCT, Simisha has been employed by Conservation International’s Climate Action Partnership division, where she engaged with government, business and civil society on climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies and ecosystem-based demonstration projects. Simisha also worked for the Botanical Society of South Africa, assisting the director with managing operations, maintaining and building on the sustainability profile of the organisation, and extending the portfolio of projects through forming partnerships.