13 August 2013 – Two of South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) projects under construction have celebrated injury free milestones, 250,000 hours worked without a lost-time-incident, a significant target for such a new industry in South Africa. Droogfontein Solar Power and De Aar Solar Power, located in the Northern Cape, reached this achievement.
“Reaching 250,000 hours without a lost-time-incident supports the positive reviews from the Department of Labour’s site visits, conducted at both of these projects,” Kevin Foster, project manager of Droogfontein Solar Power, says.
De Aar Solar Power achieved this milestone on the 16th of July 2013, at exactly 15h00. “This is a major achievement considering that the majority of the workers on our site are unskilled and had no experience of constructing solar projects before their first induction a few months ago,” Savva Antoniadis, project manager for De Aar Solar Power, says.
Considering that De Aar Solar Power’s site has particularly challenging conditions from a construction point of view, this achievement is particularly impressive. Almost 300 of the 518 work force are unskilled and needed to be trained onsite and kept motivated to follow safety regulations. Over 70% of both Droogfontein Solar Power and De Aar Solar Power’s workforces come from local communities; this means that these communities are directly benefiting from gaining skills through training.
Workers receive safety inductions onsite, as well as task training, hazard awareness training and daily information sessions. “Training our workforce and keeping them motivated to act in a safe and responsibly manner, while executing unfamiliar skills, takes a great deal of dedication from management at all levels,” Antoniadis says.
Droogfontein Solar Power and De Aar Solar Power are majority owned by Globeleq and its consortium partners.