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Crowdfund campaign to install solar lights in Soweto

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jun 30, 2017

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Johannesburg - In collaboration with the Philile Foundation, Greenpeace Africa’s recently launched campaign Project Sunshine seeks to raise R100 000 from mid-June to mid-July to install solar streetlights around a crèche in Diepsloot. 

Project Sunshine is a crowdfunded initiative and at midpoint the project has already raised over R30 000. With just two weeks left to meet the target, Greenpeace is calling on all South Africans to play a role in bringing light to underprivileged, off-grid communities by visiting and supporting the crowdfunding.

Greenpeace Africa is offering South Africans the opportunity to participate in assisting electricity poor communities. The current grid simply bypasses an estimated 10% of South Africans, and for those who are connected to the grid, being able to afford electricity becomes a new challenge.

Read also:  Cape Town goes green with street lights 

Greenpeace Africa Climate and Energy Campaigner Nhlanhla Sibisi said: “It feels like South Africa is a country at war with itself at the moment, with poverty, crises and scandals around every corner. Most of us can relate to walking down a dark street at night and feeling unsafe. Solar streetlights can contribute towards safer streets and the fight against crime”.

Despite the widespread crime and service delivery protests in South Africa , City Power has actively blocked this project for years. Local authorities in Johannesburg have also acted as a barrier to using solar energy for the electrification of off-grid communities.

In 2015, Greenpeace Africa had aimed to complete this project on a much larger scale, but after years of trying to get permission from numerous City Power authorities, the project was finally downscaled.

“As far as Greenpeace Africa is concerned, this seems to simply indicate that City Power is threatened by a project that aims to deliver street lighting when they have no plans to electrify parts of Diepsloot for years to come” said Melita Steele, Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager for Greenpeace Africa.

“Our current electricity system is dysfunctional, and innovative solutions like solar streetlights should be the way of the future. This is a solution that could and should be replicated by municipalities across the country,” said Steele.




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