Fedgroup creating self-sustainable homes for African children

Fedgroup subsidiary Emergent Energy donated R117 000 worth of products towards the solar panel project and provided another R17 000 worth of services. Photo : MG

Johannesburg, South Africa (ADV) – The Fedgroup is celebrating World Children’s Day and is urging the world to support the less fortunate children to make giving sustainable.

A leading independent investment & insurance company in South Africa providing employee benefits (retirement & life cover) & investment plans recently completed two solar panel projects at organisations that support children.

Earlier this year Fedgroup partnered with Botshabelo, a non-profit organisation (NPO) that works to improve children’s lives through residential care and education.

According to the company one of the challenges that organisations that look after children face is that their overheads aren’t covered by donations.

These children homes’ are having challenges to do with paying bills that cover water, electricity, rates and caregivers’ salaries.

“One of the key projects that emerged from the company’s partnership with Botshabelo was the installation of solar panels at the Midrand-based NPO’s site, helping it become more sustainable,” said Stephen Jeffery, a Fedgroup consultant.

“Fedgroup challenged its staff and Botshabelo approached its sponsors to donate towards the panels, which cost R2 300 a unit. The company also vowed to match every solar panel funded by Botshabelo’s sponsors, resulting in the installation of 106 solar panels on the roofs of Botshabelo’s buildings.”

This has seen the NPO’s electricity bill slashed by up to 40%, meaning that donations can be used for the other needs.

Jeffery also added that there has been an immense response to the project.

“We overshot our targets quite significantly. We already have 50 panels waiting to be installed as part of stage 2 of the projects, even though we have just completed stage 1.”

Fedgroup subsidiary Emergent Energy donated R117 000 worth of products towards the solar panel project and provided another R17 000 worth of services. The provider of installed solar photovoltaic commercial projects will also be responsible for the servicing and maintenance of the solar panels.

Recently Fedgroup completed a similar project in Port Elizabeth with Brylin Independent Learning Centre, but this project brings with it an added bonus, allowing the school to earn revenue from the solar panels.

This is thanks to Nelson Mandela Bay’s energy policy, which allows renewable energy trader PowerX to use the municipal grid to trade renewable energy. As part of the deal, Brylin rents out its roof space to Emergent Energy, which installed the panels and the renewable energy generated is sold to PowerX. The school has also signed a power purchase agreement with PowerX, which sees it buying back the energy at a discounted rate.

As a result, Brylin is earning a rental income, has significantly lowered its electricity bill and has eliminated its power-related carbon emissions.

Jeffery further confirmed that Fedgroup is passionate about sustainable giving and projects. “This is not a hit and run. We plan to stay with them for the foreseeable future,” he said.

© Bur-csa – A.H – N.A / From our regional correspondent Mkhululi Chimoio – African Daily Voice (ADV)