The Kouga Wind Farm, at Oyster Bay, in the Eastern Cape, has spent about R1-million on corporate social investment (CSI) during its construction phase, with local communities benefiting from investments in health, child care, food security, education, sport, transport and infrastructure development.
These investments are supported by a group of companies such as Kouga Wind Farm Project Company, wind turbines manufacturer Nordex South Africa, engineering and construction company Power Group, electrical products distributor Actom, security company Smhart Security and solutions provider ALE Heavylift.
To ensure that the projects are not duplicated in the different communities being serviced by these companies, meetings with the Sea Vista and Umzamowethu communities, the municipality and councillors take place to discuss priority projects for the communities.
Owing to this, work is nearing completion on a R300 000 clinic and consulting facility consisting of a waiting room, two consulting rooms and an ablution unit in Umzamowethu. Additionally, the Umzamowethu community also requested an upgrading of all internal and access roads in the area and a free service providing transportation from Oyster Bay to the Humansdorp clinic twice a week.
Moreover, in Sea Vista, the CSI project has provided pots, utensils, electricity, vegetables and other food supplies for soup kitchens running in the area. A play park has been installed at the Sea Vista sportsfield for children, while maintenance is being carried out at a crèche in Sea Vista.
“A positive impact on surrounding communities is key to the development of the Kouga Wind Farm. This has involved building relationships to facilitate community participation and actively investing in these communities,” says Kouga Wind Farm CEO Lukhanyo Ndube.
He adds that the combined budget of the entire construction team enables the projects to be more meaningful and impactful.
The Kouga Wind Farm consists of 32 turbines capable of generating up to 300-million kilowatt hours a year (300 GWh), enough to supply about 50 000 average households with electricity yearly, mitigating over 290 000 t of greenhouse-gas emissions yearly.