Saliem Fakir

Saliem Fakir

Saliem is an independent writer and columnist for SACSIS based in Cape Town.

He is currently active in the sustainable energy field and works for the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Saliem was previously a senior lecturer at the Department of Public Administration and Planning and associate Director for the Center for Renewable and Sustainable Energy at the University of Stellenbosch (2007-2008) where he taught a course on renewable energy policy and financing of renewable energy projects.

Saliem previously worked for Lereko Energy (Pty) Ltd (2006) an investment company focusing on project development and financial arrangements for renewable energy, biofuels, waste and water sectors. He also served as Director of the World Conservation Union South Africa (IUCN-SA) office for eight years (1998-2005).

Saliem has served on a number of Boards. Between 2002-2005 he served as a chair of the Board of the National Botanical Institute. He also served on the board of the Fair Trade in Tourism Initiative, and was a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Global Reporting Initiative, based in Amsterdam.

He currently serves on the advisory board of Inspired Evolution One, a private fund involved in clean technology.

Saliem's qualifications are: B.Sc Honours molecular biology (WITS), Masters in Environmental Science, Wye College London. He also completed a senior executive management course at Harvard University in 2000.

Localised Energy Generation is the Solution to the Eskom Crisis, but We Need Managed Localism

Picture: Wayne National Forest/flickr Saliem Fakir - Two forms of anarchism will further imperil the energy crisis – first there’s Eskom’s anarchic pursuit of large power stations like the nuclear plant. Second, there’s the fact that those citizens and corporations who can afford it, are following their own path in response to the financial crisis and mismanagement within Eskom. Neither situation is desirable. However, the need for pragmatic forms of local power supply (localism), both for rich and poor producers as...

The Unemployment Problem Is Not Due to Foreigners

Picture: Brookings Institution Saliem Fakir - South Africa’s unemployment problem has been persistent since 1994 and long before the migration of Africans from elsewhere making their way south. Foreigners do not occupy all the formal jobs that the South African economy creates because there would have to be good reasons for employing foreigners in the formal sector due to our labour laws, immigration policies and employment equity rules. Those employed in the formal sector constitute about 4% of the formal workforce. Where...

How Can We Eat Well Affordably?

Picture: Global Justice Now Saliem Fakir - The U.S. is putting pressure on South Africa to agree to favourable terms for its poultry producers before it is willing to include South Africa in a new round of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). By removing tariffs on American chicken imports, South Africa, under AGOA, ought to be able to export its own agricultural products with ease, as long as U.S. poultry producers are given free reign in our country. The deal is at a precipice. South Africa is expected to agree to the...

Groups Opposed to Fracking in the Karoo Must Forge Stronger Links

Picture: Climate Access Saliem Fakir - As the government presses ahead with fracking, it is not entirely certain whether all South Africans will reap the rich rewards proponents are punting. There is still some way to go. While exploration rights are being processed there is a legislative mountain that must still be climbed. The legislative terrain ranges from the passing of revisions to the Mining Act to the finalisation of water and drilling regulations as well as government’s desire to establish a Strategic...

Rethinking the Role of Mining in South Africa: Nothing Changes Until Something Big Happens

Picture: A worker in an Anglo Ashanti gold mine courtesy Jonathan Ernst/World Bank Saliem Fakir - Last week the Mining Indaba came and went just like it does every year. Some 7,000 people attended. On its margins, outside of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), a different kind of mining indaba, a people’s indaba, took place in close by Woodstock. This was the 5th Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI), which serves as a counterpoint to the industry event. AMI voices always struggle to find their way into the CTICC, but the chorus from the margins is growing stronger with...

South Africa's Energy Crisis: Renewables for the Rich?

Picture: PV Magazine Saliem Fakir - Citizens should brace themselves for a long journey of troubled co-existence with Eskom’s woes. Citizens with higher incomes are likely to become less dependent on Eskom because they can supply their energy needs through alternative power sources like renewables, solar-water heaters, gas and home-diesel generators. But poorer households that cannot afford alternatives will either have to absorb higher electricity costs or live with reduced quality of life. There are several...