The community living in the most vulnerable parts of Cookhouse will benefit from improved safety and reduced criminal activity at night, thanks to the installation of 30 solar-charged, battery-powered streetlights.
The streetlights are part of an electrification plan – powered by solar energy – funded by the socio-economic development (SED) funds from Exxaro and Cennergi’s 134 MW Amakhala Emoyeni Wind Farm, near Cookhouse in the Eastern Cape.
Roland Tatnall, Exxaro’s MD for energy explained that the electrification of this area through solar energy highlights the company’s sustainable energy values and how the mining company is addressing environmental challenges.
“Through the erection of solar powered lights, not only are we able to light up a community which was once surrounded by darkness, but we are able to do so in the most environmentally conscious way as solar power holds some of the greatest potential of all South Africa’s renewable energy sources,” Tatnall says.
The local ward councillor, Mpumelelo Steve Kwatsha, as well as local residents have welcomed the installation of these streetlights, which created 14 job opportunities, help to reduce crime and have made the streets safer at night.
Muhammad Khan, the owner of ZP Energy, the company which undertook the project, said the streetlights were installed on Ndyamarha, Sinyanza and Joe Slovo streets in Cookhouse.