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Hopefield residents, within the Saldanha Bay Local Municipality, have benefited from the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement programme (REI4P).

A social impact study, completed by Umoya Energy, has yielded results that show the REI4P is effective in delivering on social benefits through meaningful initiatives.

The Independent power producer created a multi-tiered project designed to improve the social and economic well-being of residents in Hopefield. Read more: Wind association backs economic development components in rural communities

The focus of the impact study conclusively found that the Hopefield Home Improvement Project: Phase 1 has been effective in improving living conditions, with 99% of the study’s residents affirming this.

It is estimated that this project has already benefited over 3,000 residents, especially during the winter.  Insulation, solar heated water, safe electrical installation and carpentry, have gone a long way to improve lives in this community.

“Our industry’s socio-economic development mandate is unique to this country and the impact study into our local community investment shows that through targeted beneficiary programmes, we can make a lasting and impactful difference,” explained Veronique Isaacs, regional community operations manager for Umoya Energy.

Home Improvement Project

The Home Improvement Project has been benefiting the community of Hopefield since 2014. This economic development programme, aims to upgrade almost 1,000 low-income households over a 6-year period as well as provide skills training and create local enterprises.

The Hopefield Home Improvement Project’s Enterprise Development programme is designed to develop skills of local businesses to be sustainable to ensure enduring benefits for this community.

“The development and support of these Enterprises also means local employment, secured by a 3-year contract with Umoya Energy, to upgrade local low-income homes,” concluded Isaacs.

The Department of Energy reported in 2016 that IPPs had exceeded their procurement commitments by 27% and created over 26,000 jobs, of which 47% are occupied by youth and women in rural areas.

Wind projects have committed over R92 billion of economic development expenditure into surrounding rural communities as well as allocating 31% of shareholding to Black South Africans.