20 July 2023

Solana Energy and South32 uplifts KZN communities with six solar installations

Submitted by: Marc Ashton
Solana Energy and South32 uplifts KZN communities with six solar installations

Prepared by: Camrynne Cross

Solana Energy is proud to announce their successful collaboration with South32 in bringing about the completion of six solar installations across KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) which will bring immediate relief to various social impact organisations. These installations are situated in various locations providing clean and sustainable energy sources to these organisations to aid them on their quest to make a significant difference in the lives of the people that they serve.

The six solar installations are located at The Amangwe Village Training Centre located in the Mbonambi area, the Sekusile Zulu Creche and Nawe Zifunze Training Centre located in the Mzingazi area, SA National Cancer Association (SANCA) located in eMpangeni area, the NSRI Sea Rescue located in Richards Bay, and the Khayalethu Child & Care Centre located in Arboretum in the Richards Bay area.

The current electricity crisis within South Africa is impacting the most vulnerable communities and through an innovative partnership, Solana Energy and South32 saw an opportunity to assist. These installations will provide uninterrupted electricity supply to these organisations looking after the most vulnerable in the communities.

“When the lights went off, as an NPO we struggled with no telephone, internet and not being able to access our computers, be it to write a confirmation letter for our service user or sit through a virtual meeting or workshop. SANCA Zululand is extremely grateful to Solana Energy as we can proudly say; load-shedding has become a thing of the past,” says Shireen Sahadev, Director of SANCA Zululand.

Zanele Mabaso, Manager of Amangwe Village echoes these sentiments saying: “Since the installation of Solar Energy, stress has decreased especially when it comes to our daily work. Even if our neighbours complain of load-shedding, we continue working and submit it timeously. Frustration is less now, we continue normally with our daily work at the office.”

Access to electricity is crucial for economic and social development as well as advancement in both the healthcare and education system. Due to load-shedding, many NPOs and small businesses have to face constant interruptions from doing their important work, which has a negative impact on the surrounding communities.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Station 19 is required to react to all water-related emergencies on a 24/7 basis and load-shedding was hampering their ability to perform their critical tasks.

“We now have the ability to operate as necessary during load-shedding and continue with our task to save lives of those in danger on the sea and inland waters. We cannot emphasise enough the need for a continuous power supply,” says Mike Patterson from the NSRI.

Delivering social impact was a key consideration at the commencement of the partnership between Solana Energy and its key funding partner South32. 

“Solar Energy provides a transformative solution to the critical challenges our communities face everyday due to South Africa’s electricity crisis. We understand that our most vulnerable communities feel these effects the most. We, at Solana Energy, are committed to assisting our communities as much as we can, so that we can empower them to thrive both socially and economically. We are thankful for our collaboration with South32, in that we know these installations would not have been entirely possible without their assistance,” says Ahmed Motara, Business Development Lead at Solana Energy.

Calvin Mkhabela, Vice President at Hillside Aluminium, concludes: “We are privileged to have been able to support Solana Energy in these installations as we know how positive the impacts will be. We know that by investing in solar solutions, we are alleviating several communities of the hardships they face when they are forced to operate without electricity. We believe that by investing in solar solutions, we are able to make a difference in the lives of those who need it the most.”

Camrynne Cross
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 072-092-9732

About Solana Energy
Solana Energy is a business-backed, community-based solar installation solution that offers simple, commercial and residential solar installations. In addition to installing solar, Solana Energy has a social element built into the business model. Corporates can partner with Solana Energy to deploy ESD/SED funding and help grow the renewable energy skills base in SA.

The following high-resolution photos are available on request
Ahmed Motara, Business Development lead at Solana EnergySite installations