Mpho Mookapele, CEO of Ewseta

With a mandate to anticipate, build and strategically plan and manage skills development in South Africa, the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (Ewseta), strives to close the scarce and critical skills gap as per the requirements of the National Skills Development Plan 2030. One of the new training programmes just launched by Ewseta is an innovative Skills Programme for hydrogen system practitioners – the first in Africa – and potentially a game-changer in the renewables energy sector. 

Says Mpho Mookapele, CEO – Ewseta, “There is potential to transform skills development through the capacitation of our Technical and Vocational Training Colleges (TVET Colleges). Simultaneously, the involvement of the entire higher education, NGO and private sectors needs to be harnessed to create the ecosystem to support the Just Energy Transition.”

The energy sector has already been in transition as the shift towards clean energy and a greater focus on renewable sources becomes imperative. However, the transformation in mindset has merely shown up the skills gap in the sector, highlighting a shortage of workers with the necessary skills and knowledge ready to support the transition.


As a result, the country needs more engineers, technicians, and project managers skilled in renewable energy technologies and systems. 

Consequently, workers must be adequately trained, particularly in the following skills:

Indeed, this imperative comes via the JETP Political Declaration, which makes clear that the Government aims to “develop new economic opportunities such as green hydrogen and electric vehicles amongst other interventions to support South Africa’s shift towards a low carbon future.” 

Full qualification

Striving to stay ahead of the game in providing the sector with programmes that will support businesses and the Government in keeping the pipeline qualified and empowered with the appropriate skill set, Ewseta has finalised the first-of-its-kind Hydrogen Fuel Cell System Practitioner skills programme for hydrogen system practitioners to be run by QCTO accredited providers. 

“The intention is to expand the skills programme to a full qualification, and we are currently working with the industry in scoping the full qualification course curriculum,” says Mpho. 


Recognising that skills development has to evolve in line with the country’s needs of business, and the country, Ewseta is also proud of its Renewable Energy Specialisation Skills Development Programme in collaboration with Power Africa, a U.S. Government initiative coordinated by USAID, which develops skills in renewable energy among 100 unemployed women and 15 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) lecturers in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

The programme’s long-term impact will equip Mpumalanga’s workforce with the skills to meet the demands of the changing economy and create opportunities for inclusive economic participation, especially for women and youth. The inclusion of TVET college lecturers in this training is a crucial component of the programme’s sustainability, enabling them to train future candidates and adapt to new renewable technologies.

Technology centre

Another of their key initiatives is the Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management (EEDSM) programme, which promotes energy efficiency and reduces demand in South Africa. The initiative is a partnership between Ewseta and the SA National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and seeks to advance research on skills required to support emerging technologies and to deliver skills development projects that respond to South Africa’s legislation around Carbon Tax Act and Energy Performance Certificate Regulations to support EEDSM.

The Ewseta is making a valuable contribution to skills development in the country via the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC). 

SARETEC provides training and skills development programmes focused on renewable energy technologies, including wind, solar, and biomass. They also offer a range of courses and certifications, including a wind turbine service technician programme.

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