Damlaagte deepens community ties

Following its visits to Yakhisizwe Secondary School and Sindikile Primary School on Earth Day in April, and in a clear indication of its intention to build lasting community relationships, representatives from the Damlaagte Solar Project spent more time with the two schools in the Tumahole township on May 15.

The 97.5 MW Damlaagte project under construction near Parys will provide approximately 300 million kWh of clean electricity. The EPC contractor is a Power China Maanda joint venture, with LeadEPC and Tractionel Holdings the two main sub-contractors. 

The Damlaagte representatives started the day at Yakhisizwe, where grade 11 and grade 12 learners presented the Planet vs. Earth project they were tasked with during the Damlaagte Earth Day event at their school. The learners’ research highlighted factors that destroy our planet, notably the greenhouse effect caused by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, as well as the pressing need to overturn water and air pollution. Their presentation also included solutions.

“I’m very proud of the learners, and I also thank Mainstream for choosing to associate with us, despite so many other schools in the area,” said Mr. MD Fongoqa, Yakhisizwe’s principal.

At Sindikile Primary School, the Damlaagte team was welcomed by learners singing and dancing before the serious business of the learners’ Planet vs. Plastic presentation started. Among the information displayed on the two charts the learners had prepared was the fact that a staggering eight billion tonnes of plastic have been produced over the past 60 years. The learners brought their work to life by delivering their presentation in the form of a play.

At both schools, the Damlaagte Solar Project partners presented the principals on behalf of the schools participating with R5 000 that will be used to improve the schools’ most immediate challenges.

The last site visit of the day was at the Land Hope Garden Project, which was started by young people from Tumahole with the goal of supplying the community with vegetables and using the proceeds to buy shoes for learners in need. One of the founders, Dawid Mpholo, told the Damlaagte team that the garden group’s ambition is to grow and supply retailers. “We know this garden can go far and that it will benefit our community in a huge way.”

In addition to a donation of seedlings and R5,000 in cash, the Damlaagte Solar Project pledged to set up an appointment between the garden project and the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (SEDA). In the future, SEDA will assist with entrepreneurial skills, develop knowledge on agriculture, and help register projects with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).

“We are excited that Damlaagte saw our need and decided to assist us; this is amazing,” added Dawid Mpholo.

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