9 December 2011
Over 8 500 solar geysers were installed across South Africa during the two-week UN climate summit (COP 17), surpassing the initial target of 8 000, says Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel.
Another major success of the campaign was recorded in KwaZulu-Natal, where more than 500 systems were installed in households since the start of the climate conference, thanks to pledges made by individuals and companies.
At the start of the conference last week, the Department of Economic Development, the Industrial Development Cooperation and Eskom invited the public and business to pledge towards the solar geyser campaign.
The initiative raised R685 000 to install 510 solar water heaters in Groutville, north of the city.
“This is a resounding success, it shows the opportunities that are there in the green economy, and I think COP 17 has brought about a new thinking amongst many of us in terms of our approach to the green economy,” Patel said.
“With the contribution from companies, unions and individuals we can step up the rate of installation and show the value of broader solidarity across society to grow jobs and improve the lives of our people.”
To date, the total number of solar geysers installed throughout the country is estimated at 211 000, with additional funding from Eskom’s rebates system for solar water heaters.
Patel said it was important that South Africa take full advantage of the continent’s hot temperatures and, in the process, relieve pressure on the national electricity grid.
The campaign would also ensure that government met its job creation target of 300 000 new jobs in the green economy.