During a workshop for women organized by South African’s Department of Energy, Deputy Minister of Energy, Barbara Thomson said that government initiatives in renewable energy resources will assist women both find employment and help them underwrite new business ventures in renewable energy fields such as solar power.
Thomson stated that China has committed to train women in the installation of solar water facilities, telling attendees, “Once trained, these women will return to start their own enterprises or join other entrepreneurs in this area while training more women. The participation of women at this event was excellent and I am confident it has laid a solid basis that will increase the footprint of women in the energy sector,” BuaNews reported.
Thomson added that the government’s Integrated Resources Plan (IRP), approved by Cabinet in March this year, “Talks to the importance of access to energy and an energy mix benefitting the designated groups, especially women who are major users thereof.”
Women in Oil and Energy South Africa (WOESA) representative Thoko Gulube said that a lack of skills and readily accessible financing are among the most significant challenges that women face when attempting to enter the energy sector, stating, “It’s important to get young females to acquire hard skills and study manufacturing and project management.”