Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Energy visits the iShack initiative

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On Wednesday 31 July, the Parliamental Portfolio Committee on Energy visited the iShack project in Enkanini. Hosted by the Sustainability Institute, the Committee members visited various customers of the iShack social enterprise that has been established over the past year. Committee members spoke directly with the customers and then met with the entrepreneurs and researchers who are driving the project in the newly built Enkanini Research Centre. It was made clear that Stellenbosch

Municipality is playing a key role in the project, most importantly by agreeing to include the allocated of Free Basic Electricity subsidies to homes not connected to the grid in their Indigent Policy – a first for a South African municipality. Afterwards, the Committee had lunch at the Sustainability Institute. The Committee Chair, Siza Njikelana, remarked that what impressed him most was a comment by one participant in the project who said: “We are showing the people in town [pointing to the centre of Stellenbosch] that we can build our own suburb.” How different this is to the notion that a toyi toyi is what will force the ‘people in town’ to come do it for the community. The pictures depict researchers and co-researchers presenting to the Committee. (For a report on the visit by the Government Information Service click HERE.)