Life at Lekela #6: Brenda Sidaki, Plant Manager, Kangnas Wind Farm, South Africa

Lekela is an international organisation, with our people based in Senegal, Egypt, South Africa and the UK. We want to shine a light on the amazing work our people do across Africa and in Europe and hear directly from our employees on what life at Lekela is really like.

Each month, we’re speaking to different employees across Lekela to hear what they’re working on and what led them to this industry.

Today, we’re speaking to Brenda Sidaki, Plant Manager at Kangnas Wind Farm in South Africa, one of five wind farms we operate through the Service Management of Mainstream Renewable Power South Africa. Read below for some of Brenda’s thoughts on what led her to renewables and what a day in her life at work is like.

What led you to a career in renewables and to Lekela?

I started my career in coal, working my way from in-service training up to managerial level over the course of fifteen years. For a long time, I thought coal-fired power was the ultimate goal and became used to working in the industry (including the noise of the environment!). However, when I learned about renewables, I took it on myself to further my studies in the area and believe it is now the new goal we should be striving towards. I wanted to move with the times, and my growing knowledge of power production led me to take my job at Kangnas Wind Farm earlier this year.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

What I enjoy about my job as Plant Manager is that I interact with a range of people who play different roles. I look after production and maintenance, and in particular enjoy taking part in safety sharing – so that I can make sure our employees get home safely to their families. I am relatively new to the renewables industry, so although I might not yet know everything about the industry, I give my all to meet challenges related to production so that I can contribute to the bigger picture and create solutions to the current challenges facing the country.

What has it been like running Kangnas Wind Farm since you joined in March?

It’s a big responsibility, but one I want to rise to meet. I am still getting into the right gear and learning a lot about the company and how we work, but I’ve had a lot of support from my team to make this happen. It’s different from my old role in that I have more responsibility, attending board meetings and drafting monthly reports, whereas previously I would have limited input. The windfarm has also increased employment in the local area, is making a positive difference to their electricity needs, and plays a major role in our economy.

Is there anything else about your time working at Kangnas Wind Farm that you would like to tell us about?

What a change from my old job! It’s also so good to be working in an area with no noise from machinery and no dust.