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Solar power lights up night

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Residents and community stakeholders gathered together last week (18 May 2017), to celebrate the official launch of Olifantshoek Solar Street Light Project, a REISA Economic Development Flagship Project.Photos: Supplied
Residents and community stakeholders gathered together last week (18 May 2017), to celebrate the official launch of Olifantshoek Solar Street Light Project, a REISA Economic Development Flagship Project.Photos: Supplied

Where there is light, there is life. This remark was made by Sylvia Lucas, premier of the Northern Cape, at the launch of the Olifantshoek Solar Street Light Project on Thursday, 18 May.

Lucas also noted that this project should ensure that there is not only light, but that peole can walk the streets safely.

Residents of Olifants­hoek gathered to celebrate the official launch of the project, which is an economic development flagship project of Renewable Energy Investments South Africa (Reisa).

Olifantshoek is the second community to benefit from Reisa’s Solar Street Light programme. Altogether 105 solar street light units, which require almost no maintenance and no running costs, have been installed along Olifants­hoek’s busiest roads.

The community of Dibeng was the first beneficiary of the programme in 2015, which included the installation of 52 solar street lights covering over 2 km of road.

The first one was launched in, the Dibeng community in 2015 where the first installation benefitted 52 solar street lights covering over 2km of road.

The initiative aims to improve community safety and security, and the well-being of around 10 253 residents and to take advantage of the ­environmentally friendly solar-powered technology.

The launch of the project follows a proposal the mayor of the Gamagara Municipality, Dineo Moyo, made in an effort to reduce crime and road accidents, and to better the well-being of the community at large.

“This project has the potential to change the landscape of this town. On a deeper level, it adds to our collective commitment to make this province a safe and prosperous one,” Lucas said at the launch.

Sizile Mabaso, chief community operations officer of Reisa, highlighted that it was Reisa’s deliberate strategy to partner with ­local authorities and stakeholders to ensure the alignment of REISA’s interventions with local priorities.

This project provides business support and mentorship to local businesses. The company has, through these projects, been able to further develop its trade within the solar industry, in particular solar street lighting.

“Through our Enterprise Development Programme, Reisa’s objective is to ­facilitate the creation of sustainable economic and job opportunities for the communities of Olifants­hoek, Dibeng, Dingleton, Kathu, Babatas and Mapoteng to achieve greater economic independence,” said Mabaso.

Thanking REISA, Lucas expressed her wish for this project and the many others they have already embarked on in the Northern Province, to an extended long and positive relationship.

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