Visionary puts Wittekleibosch on the map

2015-04-30 17:22
Litha and Florence Nozuko Msizi, son and widow of the late Mike Mcebisi Msizi who envisioned a wind farm for the community of Wittekleibosch back in 2009, and Cennergi chief executive Thomas Garner celebrate the official sod turning of the Tsitsikamm

Litha and Florence Nozuko Msizi, son and widow of the late Mike Mcebisi Msizi who envisioned a wind farm for the community of Wittekleibosch back in 2009, and Cennergi chief executive Thomas Garner celebrate the official sod turning of the Tsitsikamm

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THE vision of a man born and bred at Witte-kleibosch became a reality on Friday during the sod turning ceremony of the Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm (TCWF) close to Clarkson.

Seven years after struggle activist and businessman Mike Mcebisi Msizi, who has since passed away, identified the community-owned land for the development of a wind farm, community members are preparing to reap the whirlwind.

The wind farm will be established on 7 000ha of the farm Wittekleibosch bought in 1994 by the government to settle the Mfengu families who had been forcibly removed in 1977 under apartheid.

It is expected that the R2.9 billion wind farm will go into operation during March 2016, ge-nerating 95MW of electricity - enough to

The R2.9 billion wind farm is set to go into commercial operation in March 2016, and will generate 95MW of clean and renewable energy - enough to supply 80 000 average households with electricity.

A total of 31 Vestas turbines will be erected. The foundations of 12 turbines are already completed, 12 more are in the steal and concrete phase and infrastructure is about 60% complete, said Cennergi chief executive Thomas Garner.

Litha Msizi, the son of Msizi, said the sod-turning would have been a dream come true for his father. “Today we are not only celebrating the official start of the wind farm, but also my father’s life and his vision for this community. He is the reason we are gathered here today, together we have made his dream a reality.”

The aim of the wind farm is that the community will benefit from a share of the annual revenue, which will come from selling the electricity generated to Eskom at an agreed buy-back rate of R1.25 a kilowatt.

The electricity will be transferred to Eskom’s power grid through a new sub-station to be built nearby.

A total of 197 jobs have been created to date of which 87 were local jobs. In total 350 jobs will be created through the TCWF.

Cennergi owns 75% of the project, the Tsitsikamma Development Trust 9% and Watt Energy, which was founded by Msizi, 16%

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