World Cup solar technology lies idle

2010-10-11 11:06

Solar technology donated by Greenpeace to the Jericho village in Brits, North West, during the World Cup is lying idle while the community considers its future use.

The solar technology, costing R697 000, was installed at the Madiba-a-Toloane High School in the village.

Greenpeace trained 25 learners to install and use solar technology. After the soccer tournament the technology was donated to the school.

According to learners who spoke to City Press the hall has since not been used.

The school’s principal, Refilwe Mathipa, said the school wanted to transfer the power to the staff room but lacked funds to do so.

“If money is available we will transfer the power to the staff room.”

He, however, said the community was free to use the school hall for its activities.

The president of the learner’s representative council (LRC), Annah Semenya – who was also trained in the use and installation of the solar technology – said learners wanted to use the hall to show movies but did not have a projector screen.

She said: “The learners who were trained are going to start a project of making solar cookers and lamps, then sell to the community to promote the use of solar energy.”

The solar energy project coordinator Sam Ntobong said they were finding ways to use the skills they received from Greenpeace. He said land had been secured to run the project to use solar to provide electricity, solar geysers and make solar cookers and lamps.

Ntobong said: “We were delayed by the strike and now learners are writing exams.” He said they were working out the details of the project and would start with the project after the exams.

Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner Nkopane Maphiri said it was best that the solar energy technology project be run by the community with Greenpeace’s guidance.

He said a committee was put in place to with Ntobong as coordinator to formulate a project plan.

“We had a meeting where the community was told that they are free to use the hall,” said Maphiri.

The tribal chief, Joy Mamogale, said he had provided land for the project because he wants it to succeed. He added: “The school hall is not for the benefit of students only but for the benefit of the community of Jericho.”

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