Durban - KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube has unveiled an energy-saving solar pabel rooftop at the department's Mayville offices - a pilot project that is already yielding positive results.
Ncube said the solar panel rooftop was part of the department's effort to promote environmentally-friendly solutions on public buildings.
"This project will not only help to save the environment but also our constrained energy expenditure. As we speak in this building alone we have reduced our electricity consumption by thousands a month. We are now moving with speed to have all our municipalities follow suit. We want to channel all revenue to service delivery as opposed to paying exorbitant bills. We are optimistic that in few years’ time our municipalities would saved half of what we are paying now. Operating off the electrical grid completely would be a plus," said Dube-Ncube.
The Mayville solar panel rooftop is part of COP 17 legacy projects for KZN's public institutions. In addition to Cogta's Mayville offices, other pilots in the province include Grey's Hospital, the office of the premier and Ezemvelo Wildlife offices - all in Pietermaritzburg -as well as Vryheid Hospital.
The current offices have poor energy efficiency systems that result in high electricity bills.
The building has central lighting and air conditioners which are operational irrespective of the building’s occupancy.
The new solar panel rooftop is expected to slash the building's high utility bills.
Dube-Ncube also unveiled a special purpose vehicle that will be making life easier for Cogta's employees and interns with disabilities.
"When we see people with disabilities, we see human beings that have the same potential as able-bodied people but who require special assistance to fulfil that potential. We are now proving that mainstreaming disabled individuals into the labour market is not just an empty phrase. We are proud to be the first department to make this facility available for physically challenged employees," said Dube-Ncube.