REISA has announced grant funding for a local civil construction enterprise, Aceburg Trading, in Kuruman. The grant will fund machinery and equipment for a new steel fabrication and manufacturing business division, which in turn will create more local employment.
“Job creation in the Northern Cape is of particular importance, considering the impact of the ongoing drought in this region, a part of the country where one out of ten people is employed in the agricultural sector; so in order to off-set this risk, jobs need to be stimulated in other sectors,’ explained Veronique Isaacs, Regional Community Operations Manager for REISA, one of South Africa’s largest solar projects.
Aceburg Trading is a 100% black owned local enterprise that provides mines in the area with specialised civil construction services. Owned and managed by a husband-wife team, Rosy and Chris De Koker, they make a formidable team who are driven by an entrepreneurial passion for their business, which is backed up by the technical knowhow. A veteran in his field, Chris has accumulated a vast body of knowledge and expertise, while Rosy heads the daily operations of the business as well as the financial management of all projects.
They applied for the funding in 2018 to be able to diversify their service and expand their business and thereby ensure accelerated business growth. The grant will increase employment opportunities and help Aceburg Trading, which already employs 94 workers stationed at five different project sites, to secure additional contracts and offer jobs to more people in the area.
“Local employment is a key driver in stimulating local economic growth and creating opportunities for the economic participation of previously disadvantaged groups,” added Isaacs.
The decision to expand into steel fabrication and manufacturing is a move informed by Kumba’s recommendation based on its needs, the business owner’s understanding of the industry and the unpredictable fluctuating Iron Ore prices that have once crippled the mining towns and affected the Mine’s buying power. Construction services were especially affected during 2015 and 2016 and Aceburg Trading was one of many businesses that was impacted by the mineral price dip.
The enterprise will also benefit from REISA’s Business Mentoring and Coaching programme, a support structure, which has helped a number of local enterprises within the Gamagara Municipal area, including Kathu, Olifantshoek, Dibeng, Siyathemba, Babatas and Mapoteng.
REISA is one of South Africa’s largest solar PV plants. Situated in the Gamagara Municipality, Northern Cape, this solar plant extends over 210 hectares of land and boasts 343 200 solar modules.
With a total output of 75 MW REISA will generate approximately 175,000 MWh/year of clean, renewable energy to the national grid and when operating at full capacity, it is expected to supply enough green electricity to power approximately 50 000 medium-sized homes South African homes.
This power plant will avoid approximately 125,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year when compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.
Beyond its contribution to sustainable and environmentally friendly electricity generation, REISA continues to bring job creation and socio-economic development to the local communities within which it operates.