Deputy Minister Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi visits a post COP 17 project in Groutville, KwaZulu-Natal
5 Oct 2012Ms Rejoice Mabudafasi, the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, today visited a post COP 17 project in Groutville after its implementation. The Groutville project formed part of the COP17/CMP7 Greening Programme aimed at lowering the COP carbon footprint.
Joined by prestigious guests, including the Speaker of Ilembe District Municipality, representatives of the Department of Education, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), LTE Energy Group and the educators and learners of Dr B W Vilakazi Primary School, the Deputy Minister mentioned the importance of such projects in rural communities.
The Deputy Minister said, “Climate change is considered to be one of the most serious threats to sustainable development, with adverse environment, social and economic Impacts. Communities bear the impacts of climate change but also play a vital role in finding sustainable solutions to the climate change challenge.”
The project, implemented at the Ilembe District, will assist and contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions in the atmosphere and has supplied selected rural clinics in KwaZulu-Natal with 69 Solar Water Heaters. It was viewed at the COP 17 as part of a side event focusing on sustainable energy access for rural communities. A total of 30 households received cook stoves last year at the official launch of the project, which was launched by President Jacob Zuma.
The cook stoves which were donated by Philips, one of the partners on the project aimed at reducing the amount of fire wood required for heating and cooking through the use of the cook stoves. Phillips also donated solar powered torches, lanterns and indoor lighting to the households as part of a pilot project.
Having to deal with the unprecedented threat of climate change impacts, sustainable development has become more significant today than ever before. Our strategic objective is to ensure that sustainable development remains central in our planning and execution. South Africa recently released the National Strategy on Sustainable Development (NSSD). The NSSD sets out the country’s sustainable development priorities and actions over the next five years, said the Deputy Minister.
This Strategy is based on the premise that social and economic sustainability is embedded within and reliant upon a healthy ecosystem and sustainable environmental goods and services.
Clean energy and energy efficiency, green buildings and the built environment are amongst the eight Green Economy Strategy focus areas. We want to see sustainable growth and development in your communities, added the Deputy Minister.
Phillips Electronics, LTE Energy Group, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) are amongst the stakeholders that have assisted the government in the successful running of the project. Cook stoves, solar powered torches, lanterns and indoor lighting were donated by Phillips.
The low carbon structure at the Dr BW Vilakazi Primary School is made possible by LTE Energy Group and the installation of the solar water heaters is a partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNIDO. Aldinville Primary School is one of the schools that benefited from the project by receiving a solar water heater.
“We must not forget that this project would never have happened without the support and participation of many role players. Good and lasting solutions will always rely on collaboration, vision and strong leadership. We thank all those partners that came on board to make this project a reality’’, said Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi as she expressed her gratitude to all the role players.
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Issued by: Department of Environmental Affairs
5 Oct 2012
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