In partnership with the Department of Energy, Sasol will launch the Integrated Energy Centre (IeC) at Makwana Village tomorrow, in the Free State Province. The Centre will deliver energy essentials such as petrol, diesel, lubricants, and LPGas to the doorsteps of the rural poor.
An IeC is a one-stop energy shop owned operated by a community cooperative. It provides energy solutions to communities; access to affordable, safe and sustainable energy services; and information on how to handle and utilise energy resources including Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). In addition, IeCs promote the development of small businesses (SMMEs) through partnerships with key stakeholders.
The service offering of the Makwane Integrated Energy Centre will include:
- Sale of diesel, petrol and LPG
- A convenience store and bakery
- Selling of prepaid electricity and airtime
- Computer Centre
- Public telephones
- ATM facility
“Energy is critical in improving the well-being of the poor and therefore it is a prime catalyst for socioeconomic development. The people of Makwane Village will not only enjoy easy and affordable access to modern energy services but they will also learn about energy conservation," said Minister of Energy, Mr Dikobe Ben Martins.
According to Free State Premier Ace Magashule, this initiative has already created jobs that will boost the province's economy. During its construction period, the IeC has provided short-term employment to at least 68 local people and will provide employment to ten permanent staff members.
The Makwane Integrated Energy Centre will function as a platform to narrow the information divide and disseminate energy-related knowledge to local institutions, households and individuals.
"The main objective of the IeCs is to bring affordable and sustainable energy services and information closer to poor communities. It will serve as an economic hub for creating employment opportunities, ensuring access to affordable energy, providing a platform for small business development," said Sasol Oil Chairman Maurice Radebe.
To date Sasol has contributed to the establishment of seven (7) IeCs in government identified poverty nodes, including: Caba Mdeni in the Eastern Cape, Laxey in the Northern Cape, Mutale in Limpopo, Makgobistad in the North-West Province, Qunu in the Eastern Cape, Ulundi in KwaZulu-Natal and the Makwane IeC in the Free State.
Alex Anderson, Group Media Manager
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Jacqui O’Sullivan, GM: Group Communication
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