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The South African National Energy Association (SANEA), founded in 1924, is the South African Member Committee of the World Energy Council. SANEA represents a hub for objective thought leadership on energy and related matters. In so doing, SANEA stimulates original thinking to catalyse transformation of the South African Energy Sector.

To benefit our stakeholders we will draw on our World Energy Council affiliation and our local, regional, continental and global networks to provide credible interventions that

  • Engage influential role players
  • Stimulate objective thinking and critical assessment
  • Encourage knowledge-sharing and debate
  • Strengthen the professional energy network
  • Enhance awareness of energy issues in South Africa
  • Promote talent development

SANEA is constantly looking for new opportunities to advance the Energy Sector, either by expanding its network of members or by increasing its range of activities.


“Thinking Energy”

“Energy is at the root of all social endeavours. Nothing can be achieved without it. Sadly, for so many years, we have taken energy for granted. We have used it indiscriminately in the apparent belief that reserves are infinite and we have been ignorant of the detrimental effects of inappropriate use.


“More recently the oil price shocks and the political turmoil in various parts of the world have alerted us to our dependence on energy and to the potential limits of traditional sources of energy. Increasing awareness of the physical environment, and climate change in particular, has stimulated an enhanced awareness of the delicate balance that needs to be struck between the progressive development of mankind and the sustainability of the world in which we live.


“The dilemma this balance represents is as acute in South Africa as it is anywhere else in the world. We are in the process of tremendous social transformation and development of millions of people who have been deprived of access to the mainstream activities of the modern economy. The demand for modern commercial energy to support this social and economic transformation will represent a growth in energy requirements greater than experienced in living memory. On the other hand, as South Africa increasingly becomes a player on the global stage, we will be under pressure to demonstrate environmental and energy custodianship in line with the most developed of nations.


“SANEA, as an objective, non-partisan, diverse energy association with international networks, has an opportunity, in fact an obligation, to make a significant contribution to charting a course for South Africa through this dilemma. To deliver on this obligation will require strong and visible leadership from the Board of SANEA and the concerted effort of all SANEA members.”


Mrs. Kiren Maharaj

Core Values

Integrity: Our honesty and conduct are beyond reproach

Objectivity: We strive for fact-based advocacy that is without ideological bias

Passion: We believe in and are enthusiastic about everything we do

Respect: We recognize and value the specific contribution of everyone we engage with

Commitment: We take our responsibilities as members and officials seriously

Inclusivity: We will act in the best interests of the collective membership of the association. Membership is open to anyone who supports and promotes the objectives of SANEA


In 1923, an energy forum was established in London by power engineers representing 24 countries. The World Power Conference held in 1924 saw the establishment of a permanent organisation, now known as the World Energy Council to continue dialogue on emerging energy issues. Initially the Council focused on the electricity industry, involving representatives of power utilities. However, over the years the Council evolved to become an “energy” organisation – incorporating all forms of energy.


Throughout its history, the Council has been non-governmental and non-commercial and has thus been regarded as objective and realistic in its analyses and agendas for action. In the 21st Century, we see the Council continuing to grow and expand, building on its long and stable history as one of the key players in the global energy landscape.


South Africa has been a Member of the Council since its inception. Until 1997 the South African Member Committee was known as the South African National Committee of the World Energy Council (SANCWEC). It was located in and managed by Eskom Holdings SOC Limited. The then Eskom Chief Executive was automatically nominated as the SANCWEC Chairman (past Chairmen include: Dr H J van der Bijl, Dr R L Straszacker, Dr Ian McRae and Mr Allen Morgan). A brainstorming session by SANCWEC members in 1996 resulted in a change in direction.


The changes initiated at that time were to

  • become more representative of the diverse Energy Sectors in South Africa,
  • to move away from the custom of the Eskom Chief Executive assuming the role of Chairman, and
  • to make a concerted effort to involve as many energy-related organisations in the activities of SANEA as possible.

During 1998, a new constitution was drafted and SANCWEC was formally renamed as the South African National Energy Association (SANEA. 1999 saw the election of the first Board under the new SANEA constitution and the phasing out of administrative dependence on Eskom Holdings SOC Limited. During the period 2000 – 2003, SANEA substantially reviewed its business status within the context of becoming independent and viable in its own right. This review process saw SANEA registering as a Section 21 Company (not for gain).


The next significant change took place in 2007 when the Board recognised the need for full-time resources and marketing expertise. From 2007 until the end of 2014 the organisation was managed by a full-time resource seconded to SANEA from its members. When this support was terminated in 2014, the organisation continued with its value delivery through a part time Chairman supported by the Secretary General role. Currently these roles are filled by Brian Statham and Dave Wright respectively.