Posted by: Yes Solar Cape (Cape Town, South Africa) – 26 August 2010
Thousands of low income families are to benefit from the rollout of solar energy geysers in Bitou.
“Solar heating makes true the ideal that hot water is a right, not a privilege, or just for people who can afford it,” says Ian Ramonyane, director of Malrams Investment Holdings – the distribution partner of solar geyser importer, Afrilanga.
Ramonyane provided the Bitou executive committee with information about the project during a recent presentation.
About 7400 subsidised houses are to be fitted with 150-litre geysers free of charge as part of the Department of Energy’s distribution of one-million units around South Africa. The new owners will however be responsible for their long-term upkeep.
The Bitou project was launched last week, to coincide with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s visit to the Garden Route at the head of a high-powered delegation to review progress made in the government’s War on Poverty programme.
The solar geysers will be guaranteed for five years and have a life expectancy of 20-25 years – considerably longer than an electric geyser, says Ramonyane.
The project will also create employment opportunities. The company trains locals to install and maintain the solar geysers, which require servicing every three years.
For the indigent, the ready supply of solar-heated water represents a massive lifestyle improvement, says Ramonyane.
“Solar heating is rapidly becoming a viable alternative to electric geysers for middle and upper class houses as well. They are becoming more affordable and cut the average home’s electricity consumption by half.”
By: Neil Oelofse