National solar geyser project comes to Makhanda

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Dear Residents

On Thursday 8 August 2019, officials from the Department of Energy and Central Energy Fund met with the officials of Makana municipality.  The purpose of the visit was to brief Makana municipality on the Department of Energy’s rollout of the Solar Water Heater (Geyser) programme.

Makana is one of 19 municipalities nationally and one of the three in the Eastern Cape that will benefit from this pilot programme. Already, 87 000 units have been manufactured nationally. These have been made by 12 selected South African manufacturing companies. Each geyser is approved by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

Makana Municipality stands to receive 6000 units from the programme.  Each geyser comes with a five-year warranty which becomes effective upon installation. A total of 184 installer assistants will be appointed to fit these geysers.

As part of the 30 percent benefit for local SMMEs, the trainees are expected to open their own companies and they will be given training on how to maintain the geysers.

The Department of Labour through the UIF fund will be used for this training. Two Social Facilitation Assistants will also be contracted for the duration of the project.  An Energy Water SETA-accredited Certificated Qualification will be awarded to the installer assistants upon completion of the training.

A technical feasibility assessment service provider has already been appointed.  Their role is to do three things:

* To assess the suitability of the roof structure on which the geysers will be installed;
* To test the water quality and reliability of supply;
* To assess the socio-economic status of the target beneficiaries.

The service provider that has been appointed by the Department of Energy has also developed a web-based data management system. Information will be captured live on site through a GIS system and will be transmitted to the Department with all the beneficiary information.

The meeting with Makana officials and the Department of Energy was held to present the service provider that has been appointed to do the feasibility study. Of the total households, 10% will be part of this feasibility study.

Social facilitation and the technical assessment are the two most critical aspects for the success of the implementation of the programme. In addition to identifying beneficiaries, Makana Municipality is expected to lead community consultation and engagement.

I urge all of us to work together for the successful; implementation of this programme. Only through taking ownership of it will we be able systematically draw all affected stakeholders to work together.

Honourable Executive Mayor Councillor Mzukisi Mpahlwa

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