In Cape Town, families living in the SOS Children’s Village, a global organisation which homes and cares for orphans and vulnerable children, has recently installed rooftop solar power heating systems to reduce their dependency on the country’s ailing power grid.
South Africa has been experiencing frequent power outages due to delays in new generation, maintenance backlogs and unplanned technical outages.
The installation of the solar heaters were made possible through a generous donation from Germany.
SOS children’s village
The village is located in a middle-class suburb in Cape Town which means higher rates of electricity and water which in turn means that the Children’s Village spends more on these commodities than the other SOS Villages across the country, the organisation said in a company statement.
Solar power heating reduces costs
SOS CV Cape Town has been able to contribute to a greener society as the Futura Foundation has enabled the village to do so.
According to local municipalities water heating is the biggest use of electricity in a typical mid-to-high income household in Cape Town. With a house full of children, this is every SOS mother’s reality too.
An SOS mother at the Cape Town Village,Bongi Tshabalala, has reduced her monthly electricity bill by a third, saving ZAR500.
Bongi said: “We are saving a lot of money as we switch off the geyser in the summer and the solar system generates energy from the sun. Because of our climate, it is actually close to nine months in the year that we can switch it off. This is really helpful.”
Each SOS family home houses eight to ten children, which means that heating water can become expensive.
Another SOS caregiver Aunty Celiwe commented on the solar heating: “We really appreciate that you thought of us. Not everyone has a geyser or warm water. Even though we had warm water it was expensive and making life a little tougher to cope with.”
A group of children living in another SOS home said: “We would really like to thank the sponsors that recognised our need for a geyser. Now we can have a hot bath without worrying that there is no more hot water. We really appreciate that you thought of us. We won’t ever forget you. We wish you a wonderful year.”
SOS CV Cape Town
The SOS Children’s Village Cape Town was built in 1994 and officially opened in 1996 by the late former South African president, Nelson Mandela.
SOS aunt Celiwe explains that she is touched that donations enabled the Village to have the [solar power] panels – they make daily life in the Village much easier and more affordable.
She added: “We are really grateful for the solar panels! Now we can have a hot bath without worrying that there is no more hot water.”