Solar power can prevent shack fires

2012-10-28 13:47
Renewable energy systems attract a high upfront cost, but they may be a money saver over the long term. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Renewable energy systems attract a high upfront cost, but they may be a money saver over the long term. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - Solar power is the best solution to prevent shack fires, the DA Gauteng said on Sunday after three children died in a shack fire in Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg.

"One solar panel with one battery can light up eight shacks," Democratic Alliance Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom said in a statement.

"It costs about R2 500, which is what eight shack families would spend on candles for three months," he said

Johannesburg emergency services said three children died and their parents were injured when their shack in Vlakfontein caught fire on Saturday. The cause of the fire was not known.

Spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said the children were with their parents in the shack when the fire started. The parents survived and were taken to hospital.

Bloom said 16 people had died in shack fires in Gauteng this year.

"The tragedy of shack fires can and should be eliminated," he said.

"Government should actively promote solar lighting in informal settlements, as Eskom is unlikely to electrify most of them in the near future."

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