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NC solar farm, local govt partner to support schools


Necessary Covid-19 protective gear and information provided to two local schools that didn’t have the required resources.

De Aar Solar Power’s community liaison officer, Anita Takor, with pupils from Monwabisi High School. Picture: Supplied

DE AAR Solar Power’s health, safety and environment (HSE) specialist, Siphe Kulu, in a collaborative effort with Pixley ka Seme District Municipality, initiated and deployed PPE as well as Covid-19 safety education sessions for almost 2,000 pupils via local schools.

Kulu recognised that he had the expertise and experience with issues related to health and safety to upskill and increase awareness in local communities, by providing the necessary equipment and information directly to two local schools, which didn’t have the required resources.

“Having worked and lived in this town for many years, I am aware that many schools don’t have any safety measures in place, with learners having little to no defence against Covid-19, and understandably many families in the community have been battling to put food on the table, which means that safety masks are not very high on their priority list,” explained Kulu.

Siphe Kulu, the health, safety and environment specialist at De Aar Solar Power. Picture: Supplied

The district municipality identified two local community schools, Monwabisi High School in Kwa Nonzwakazi and St John’s Primary School in Sunrise, as recipients. Working alongside Kulu on this project, the municipal office mobilised its own environmental health practitioners to assist with the training aspect of the project, while De Aar Solar Power provided the funding for the PPE. Additional support was received from the Northern Cape Department of Employment and Labour.

Kulu hopes that this collaborative public-private project will help to extend resources and skills, which can filter down to families and help rejuvenate the town of De Aar.

“I believe that victory against Covid-19 is a compliance issue. If the schools are able to comply with the directives, I feel we stand a chance of beating this pandemic,” concluded Kulu.

PPE was handed over within a few weeks of the schools commencing their academic year. Simultaneously, the information sessions took place at each school, and focused on general Covid-19 education; the correct use of a face mask; social distancing; Covid-19 directives from the Department of Labour; the government’s alert level system and relevant regulations; and how school staff should manage a Covid-19 positive case.

De Aar Solar Power’s community liaison officer, Anita Takor, handsover masks to St John’s Primary School teacher, Dimitrio Krull. Picture Supplied
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