Energy firm’s initiative hailed
Almost R2bn has been invested in giant wind farm with the focus on job creation for unemployed young people
THE community of Noupoort has welcomed several initiatives introduced by alternative energy companies because of the number of jobs that will be created.
For example, Colesberg has seen major developments and social relief assistance from the Noupoort wind farm.
An estimated R1.9bn has been invested in the farm with a focus on job creation, particularly for the youth.
The wind farm project is already benefiting more than 200 people of the Umsobumvo municipality.
Mayor Mzwandile Toto said the community of Noupoort has been appreciative of the developments in their area brought by the multibillion-rand project supported by the power utility.
“The lives of the people have changed for the better with radical developments in education and health facilities which have seen major refurbishment.”
Toto said besides the jobs created by the project, schools in the area have benefited immensely.
“The project has also seen the building of computer labs which assist pupils interested in science-related subjects to sharpen their knowledge.”
According to the mayor, high schools pupils are being introduced to maths and science career paths which will enable them to be part of future projects.
Located 10km east of the Karoo town of Noupoort, the new facility spans 7500ha and comprises 35 wind turbines.
“We are engaging the power utility as well as the Department of Energy with regard to the upliftment of communities where the project is taking place,” the mayor said.
The next phase will focus on micro to medium enterprises to ensure that people who want to start their own businesses receive sufficient funding.
“We are aware that the project cannot hire everyone, but through funding the SMMEs we believe more job creation will unfold to fight the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.”
Toto said improvements in health and education will also spread to infrastructures in the area.
“We will also be working with different stakeholders to address the aging infrastructure to ensure that the economy of the town is boosted,” he said.
The Noupoort wind farm recently embarked on a training programme aimed at identifying local socio-economic challenges.
Economic development manager Livhuwani Nwachukwu said unemployed youth from different areas recently participated in an inclusive neighbourhood programme which seeks to create cohesion in bringing about positive change.
“The voluntary programme addresses issues of substance abuse, inequality, racism, irresponsive governance sectionalism, among others.
“The participants mapped out key community resource services, essential organisations and businesses in their communities – and identifying places where violence and abuse are likely to take place.
“They further identified a need for more community resources that will improve the safety and the well-being of children,” Nwachukwu said.
SOCIAL ASSISTANCE: The multibillionrand Noupoort wind farm project has benefitted more than 200 people in the Umsobomvu municipality.