PRETORIA, Feb 17 — The South African Energy Department has pledged about 12 million Rand (about 1.11 million US dollars) towards the maintenance of solar geysers (solar-powered water heaters) installed in Galeshewe in Kimberley in Northern Cape Province.
This emerged during Energy Minister Ben Martins’ door-to-door visit to the area last week as part of a tour of energy projects currently under construction in the Northern Cape. He also embarked on a public engagement programme to listen to issues raised by residents.
Martins said that the government was aware of the challenges regarding the geysers. “We’re very much aware of the time they were installed; most of the solar panels were imported from countries like China and Spain,” he added, noting that those particular panels were designed for conditions in those countries.
The Minister indicated that a number of problems had been found with the panels and a programme had been designed where local youth will be trained in order to maintain the panels. The project will also be overseen by the premier’s office.
Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas said the government would make sure that sufficient numbers of people people were trained to maintain the geysers.
“They pledged that they have budgeted around R12 million at the Department of Energy ….. which will enable us as the provincial government and enable Sol Plaatjie (Municipality) to have maintenance of these solar geysers.”
Lucas added that the provincial government would ensure that there was constant maintenance of the solar geysers. — NNN-SABC