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        Another green project joins North                                        Sub­District,” says Dr Molokoe, the sub­
                                                                                 district manager.
                                                                                    The focus of Zeerust Solar’s economic
        West province’s green power map                                          development programme is to empower and
                                                                                 strengthen local communities in and around
                                                                                 the Zeerust area, namely Ikageleng,
            eerust Solar, situated near the town of Zeerust, in the North West province, has  Henryville, Olienhout Park, Shalimar Park,
            commenced its commercial operations, having achieved full compliance. This totally South  Welbedacht (Lehurutshe Town) and Groot
        ZAfrican­owned PV project, joins Bokamoso and Waterloo Solar plants, putting the North  Marico, as well as extending to 40 villages
        West on the map as a player in the renewable energy sector, not only delivering additional  located within the Ramotshere Moiloa Local
        power to the country’s national grid, but also to benefit the rural communities through  Municipal area.
        impactful economic development programmes.                                  The 75 MW Zeerust Solar is currently the
           “Extensive economic development projects kicked off during our project’s construction  largest solar PV power project in the
        period to provide Covid­19 relief, in addition to enterprise development training and accelerator  Province, with 250 080 solar panels
        programmes, skills development training and other welfare initiatives,” said Isaac Mmushi, CEO  harnessing the sun’s energy. The solar plant
        of Zeerust Solar.                                                        will generate as much as 180 GWh per year,
           In partnership with the Ramotshere Moiloa sub­district of the Department of Education,  enough to satisfy the needs of around 84 000
        Zeerust Solar has also supported education. “The implemented programmes, including specific  average South African homes.
        support for Stinkhoutboom Primary, have helped rural learners gain confidence to succeed  The project, which commenced
        despite the challenges they face. This is in addition to a Grade 12 excellence awards programme,  construction in January 2019, stands on a
        aimed to stimulate and honour academic achievements of matriculants, in schools across the  179­ha site and is connected to Eskom’s
                                                                                 Kameeldoorn switching station which feeds
                                                                                 the power into the country’s national grid.
                                                                                    Around 1000 people from the local
                                                                                 beneficiary communities were directly
                                                                                 employed on the project during
                                                                                 construction. This is in addition to the
                                                                                 employment created through the
                                                                                 contracting out of various services.
                                                                                    Zeerust Solar is owned by African
                                                                                 Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM, a
                                                                                 member of Old Mutual Alternative
                                                                                 Investments) through its IDEAS Fund, Reatile
                                                                                 Solar Power (RF) (Pty) Ltd, Phakwe Solar (RF)
                                                                                 (Pty) Ltd, AREP (African Rainbow Energy and
                                                                                 Power) and Cicada Community Trust.  n

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