- In commemoration of Disability Awareness Month, the Western Cape Minister of Infrastructure Tertuis Simmers visited the Vlakkeland housing project in Paarl, Drakenstein Municipality.
- Joined by the Executive Mayor of Drakenstein Municipality Conrad Poole, the pair visited the first group of beneficiaries whose houses have been fitted with solar geyser panels.
The free installation of solar geyser panels is a pilot initiative by the Western Cape Government, designated for people with disabilities. Vlakkeland is one of five projects in which 96 solar geyser panels will be installed. A total of 56 houses will be fitted with the panels and to date 46 have been installed. The initiative is currently the only one of its kind in the country.
Speaking to the beneficiaries Ms. Eunice Adams (58) said, “the installation of this system has unbelievably improved my life for the better. As someone with restricted mobility, I no longer need to rush myself to get things done before load shedding starts. Not only has the Western Cape Government assisted with providing us with these houses but have now surprised us with the addition of this solar geyser.”
“This initiative is exclusive to the Western Cape Government. We are mindful that our indigent households are among some of the worst affected groups during loadshedding. In mitigating the energy crisis, the country is faced with, it became clear that we needed to prioritise this initiative. My department has allocated R24 million towards the successful delivery of this project,” said the Minister.
Another beneficiary who took ownership in April Mrs. Johana Buys (70) described the financial savings, as her household is now spending less on electricity. “We rely on solar heating now and our electricity costs have been significantly reduced and we can use the savings on other essentials.”
Author: Bryan Groenendaal