6 months ago

Opportunity Issue 102

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).


PUBLISHER’S NOTE Women are powering ahead in oil and gas Petroleum Agency South Africa is among several organisations promoting the advancement of women in the oil and gas sector. There’s some way to go to achieve balance in the workplace, but dynamic and successful women are making a major impact. In May 2022, East London harbour was the site of an important event in the story of women in the South African oil and gas sector. Wasaa, an independent petrochemical logistics and trading company owned by black women, completed the purchase and handover of the East London liquid fuel import terminal from BP Southern Africa. Subsidiary company Wasaa Terminals will invest in increasing the terminal’s capacity and investigate other short-term projects. Company founder and Chief Executive, Nokwanele Qonde, believes that access to infrastructure for a company such as hers could assist other black-owned companies in the sector. Wasaa has also signed an agreement to upgrade and run the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) facilities of Petromoc, Mozambique’s state-owned company. BPSA CEO Taelo Mojapelo stressed that the East London deal was infrastructure-based, and as such would give extra impetus to empowerment efforts within the energy sector. 10 |

WOMEN IN ENERGY Women in energy observing a landmark. At the celebration of the purchase of the terminal in East London, left to right: BPSA CEO Taelo Mojapelo, Wasaa CE Nokwanele Qonde, Dr Nobuhle Nkabane (Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy), Sindisiwe Chikunga (Deputy Minister of Transport) and Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe (MEC for Roads, Transport and Safety). Nokwanele Qonde and Taelo Mojapelo, the two women business leaders at the heart of this significant transaction, represent what women can achieve in the oil and gas sector: Qonde, with years of experience in the energy sector (and in IT) before she went on her own, and Mojapelo, a seasoned corporate supply-chain specialist who quickly rose to the top at BPSA. Between them, they have three Bachelor’s degrees (they share the University of KwaZulu-Natal as their first alma mater), a Master’s degree, several diplomas and two MBAs. Women in energy In contrast to the positive picture painted by the Waasa-BPSA transaction and the personalities involved, more than one report has portrayed the position of women in the oil and gas sectors in a more gloomy light. A 2020 report by McKinsey stated that just 15% of the global oil and gas workforce was made up of women. In power and utilities, the figure was 17% and in renewable energy, 32%. Gender diversity tended to diminish as seniority increased. Women were very poorly represented in technical roles. The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) found that women comprise 20% of the personnel in South Africa’s oil and gas industry and only 17% in middle-management and seniorleadership positions. (Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Strategy for the Energy Sector for 2021 to 2025, DMRE). However, both the DMRE and other important agencies within the sector are working to change this. Petroleum Agency South Africa Another woman in an important position in the South African energy sector is Dr Phindile Masangane, who was appointed as the CEO of the South African upstream oil and gas regulatory authority, Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA), in 2020. Her academic credentials are impressive. Dr Masangane has a BSc (Mathematics and Chemistry) from the University of Swaziland, a PhD in Chemistry from Imperial College, London, and an MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand. Before taking on the PASA role, Dr Masangane was an executive at the South African state-owned energy company, CEF (SOC) Ltd, which is the holding company of PASA. Dr Masangane was responsible for clean, renewable and alternative energy projects. In partnership with private companies, she led the development of energy projects including the deal structuring, project economic modelling and financing on behalf of the CEF Group of Companies. Her responsibilities also included supporting the national government in developing energy policy and regulations for diversifying the country’s energy mix. In 2019, Dr Masangane was Head of Strategy for the CEF Group of Companies where she led the development of the group’s long-term strategic plan, Vision 2040+, as well as the group’s gas strategy. From 2010 to 2013, Dr Masangane was a partner and director at KPMG, responsible for the Energy Advisory Division. She successfully led the capital raising of -billion for hydro and coal power plants expansion programmes of the Zimbabwean power utility, ZESA/ ZPC. Since becoming PASA CEO, Dr Masangane has enthusiastically championed the cause of women in the sector and been an ardent proponent of the agency’s mission. The release of a report on Africa’s energy by the IEA saw Dr Masangane doing a comprehensive round of television and radio interviews, welcoming the report’s findings on the role that exploration and gas finds, in particular, can have on the Africa’s energy future. PASA programmes While PASA’s overall statistics are good, the agency is working to increase the percentage of senior and middle management positions held by women. The agency’s employment equity policy is holistic and is designed to maximise the potential of PASA’s workforce. It aims to go beyond compliance to harness the power of true diversity and inclusion. PASA supports the Upstream Training Trust which provides bursaries, supports career awareness programmes, funds research projects and develops skills for the sector. Exploration and production companies in the industry contribute to the trust but Dr Masangane has expressed disappointment at the number of women applying for support. In 2022, just 40% of the applications for support were from women. PASA’s intern programme is a successful launching pad for careers in the industry for talented young people, and several young women are showing great promise. Dr Masangane

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