The communities of De Aar have already started benefiting from the renewable energy sector, as monies start to flow through economic development initiatives. De Aar Solar Power has donated around R900 000 over the last six months to a number of beneficiaries within Health and Education.
This is the first step in this solar project’s commitment to benefiting the local De Aar community through economic development programmes.  “Focusing on initiatives within a 50km radius of De Aar Solar Power we are dedicated to help uplift the communities of De Aar, Britstown and Hanover through health and education programmes with a focus on early childhood development, as part of a crèche support programme; numeracy and literacy interventions at primary school level; support for mathematics and science programmes at secondary school level; and scholarships for engineering-related studies at tertiary level,” explained Cornell Moutan the Plant Manager for De Aar Solar Power.
The R900 000, spent over the last six months, has been invested in the following initiatives:

  1. De Aar High School: received R326 000 towards fencing for the school to increase security
  2. De Aar JPS School: received R245 000 towards reading books
  3. Monwabisi Secondary School: received R229 000 for an internal refurbishment of one of the school kitchens (as well as assistance in settling an outstanding electricity bill)
  4. Gentle Care Centre: received R75 000 to install air conditioning throughout the frail care facility.

The Gentlecare Care Centre ,in Britstown, help poor terminally ill, frail patients, who need care and don’t have homes or relatives to provide for them, received a R75 000 to install a much needed air-conditioning system.  “The Karoo is known for its extreme climate, which can be hard on the patients who suffer in the stifling heat and freezing cold temperatures, so the air conditioning that the centre can now install, will go a long way to helping make them more comfortable,” said Cornell Moutan the Plant Manager for De Aar Solar Power.
Although the majority of the centre’s inhabitants come from the immediate vicinity and the surrounding towns, the facility has been known to lend a helping hand to community members as far as Cape Town.
“If we have a bed, anyone is welcome, depending on their illness and the referral from their local day hospital of course,” explained Ivonne Gentle, the founder of Gentlecare. The age range is as wide as the geographic distances that they open their arms to – from as young as just a year old to as aged as 98; their care and kindness has no limit.
During the twenty year operation period of the solar plant, De Aar Solar Power will spend a percentage of operational revenues on socio economic and enterprise development programmes with the intention of uplifting local communities.    “We will also be supporting the community through Enterprise Development Programmes in the surrounding towns to assist in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty,” concluded Green-Thompson.

De Aar Solar Power– Boiler Plate

De Aar Solar Power (RF) (Pty) Ltd is majority owned by Globeleq, the emerging markets power company, and its consortium partners, Mainstream Renewable Power South Africa, Thebe Investment Corporation, the Rebuna Litsasi Trust, Enzani Technologies and Usizo Engineering. Siemens is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project and will provide maintenance services for the first five years of operation. Construction is managed by Mainstream Construction. The project company is managed by Globeleq.

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