- The 50MW De Wildt Solar farm in South Africa has been commissioned in South Africa.
- The project is located near the town of Brits in the North West province of the country.
- The project is wholly South African owned with many added socio-economic spin-offs for local communities.
- The plant comprises 169 140 solar modules that draw from the intense North West sun which will feed power into Eskom’s Zolograph substation.
Around 400 people from the local beneficiary communities were directly employed on the project during construction. This is in addition to the employment created through the contracting out of various services.
De Wildt Solar chief community operations officer, Nomzamo Landingwe, says residents of Brits, Mmakau, Mothotlung, Lethlabile, Ga-Rankuwa and surrounding areas within a 50 km radius of the project will be the direct beneficiaries of the economic development projects over the 20-year operations period. “These projects will include training and accelerator programmes, skills development training and other welfare initiatives, ” she added.
One of De Wildt Solar’s Socio-Economic Development programmes included the installation of a waterless ablution facility, for the Rutanang HIV Care Centre.
Rutanang HIV Care Centre is situated in the area of Mmakau, close to De Wildt Solar. This community health centre provides much needed support and services to hundreds of community members, including primary school children.
This NGO assists the community with HIV testing and counselling, education around chronic diseases and also assists the local clinic with handing out of Chronic Medication in the community. The waterless ablution facilities from Enviro Loo were installed to replace the use of old drop toilets, which are generally unhygienic and sometimes unsafe.
De Wildt Solar is owned by African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM, a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments) through its IDEAS Fund, Reatile Solar Power (RF) (Pty) Ltd, Phakwe Solar (RF) (Pty) Ltd, AREP (African Rainbow Energy and Power) and Cicada Community Trust.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal