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“The running cost of an electric taxi is 70% lower than a diesel one, so there is incentive to the owner and the driver who will have more money at the end of the day. As diesel prices go up, fares don’t have to go up if the taxis are electric,” said GoMetro Chief Executive Officer, Justin Coetzee at the e-Mobility Summit, hosted at Nelson Mandela University last week.


From left, Dr Andrew de Vries Mandela University, uYilo e-mobility programme director, Bopang Khutsoane from the Department of Transport and GoMetro Chief Executive Officer, Justin Coetzee.

Key national role-players in South Africa’s electromobility sector recently convened in Gqeberha for the e-Mobility summit, hosted by the Department of Transport and linked to Nelson Mandela University through its uYilo e-Mobility programme.

The indaba represented a convergence of knowledge, a sharing of insights, thought-provoking discussions, and networking opportunities. It was a platform for discussions on important matters that will inform the next chapter of South Africa’s future in e-Mobility. It also highlighted how to promote the uptake and mass adoption of electric vehicles in the country.

Bopang Khutsoane from the Department of Transport said: “It was crucial for us as a department to come back to Gqeberha because we needed to have a bigger conversation with all industry stakeholders on how they can approach the e-Mobility issue to ensure that it is sustainable going forward.”

Director of the uYilo e-Mobility Programme at Nelson Mandela University, Dr Andrew De Vries said that South Africa needs to find and develop its niches in the global e-Mobility value chain.  “I believe that the next decade warrants us to accelerate progress in this regard, and the success of this summit will reflect our commitment.” 

uyilo Programme Manager, Edem Foli, touched on the objectives of this indaba. “The summit is more than just a discussion platform, it’s a call to action, it’s a chance for us to collaborate and develop an actionable plan that allows the country’s transition to New Energy Vehicles (NEV) to support the creation of job opportunities and to stimulate economic growth.”

Networking and engagement breakfast from left Wezile Lorenzio Bonani, Motoring Scribe, Cars Awards Judge, Radio Presenter, Xolani Someketa, Atul SA, Edem Foli, Mandela University uYilo Programme Manager, Professor Danie Hattingh, Mandela University eNtsa Director, Duan Steyn, Businesses Analyst, GoMetro.

The vision of NEVs stimulating economic growth was shared by Coetzee, who said GoMetro’s mission is to bring the first electric minibus to South Africa and to make it viable for the country. He contextualised the country’s transport industry by saying that 19-million South Africans use minibuses every day, more than half of the population; and it employs over 600 000 people. “If we can electrify it, sustainably, it will have a huge impact in how we get around and how we move as a country”.

Partnerships that yield job opportunities were also highlighted  by Foli. “We work closely, through the DSI (Department of Science and Innovation) and SANEDI (South African National Energy Development Institute) partnership with energy storage internship programmes, to upskill TVET and diploma graduates,” she said.

“All our interns and graduates in training who go through our uYilo internship programmes, receive employment”. Foli said that what is required is more support in terms of funding skills development initiatives, both from the private and public sector.

“Looking forward to a year from now, we will see the fruits of such engagement,” said Dr De Vries.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160