Renewable energy technologies to benefit rural Venda village

As the world continues to embrace fourth industrial revolution technologies, it has become critical for developing nations to ensure that they are not left behind.

In this regard, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) is making sure that rural communities – which are most prone to being left behind – are among the beneficiaries of the latest innovations.

The community of Ha-Masia, a rural village in Vhembe, Limpopo, will benefit from the launch of a newly fitted media centre that includes 30 computers and an interactive screen for learning and teaching. The centre forms part of a project co-hosted by Stellenbosch University, the DSI, and the community, and is powered by a photovoltaic system with an inverter manufactured by a South African company MLT (Pty) Ltd.

In 2022, the DSI and its partners in the project will also introduce to the local Masia Multipurpose Centre, green energy solutions such as hydrogen fuel cell technology and hydroponics to enable food security. This will include a 5kW hydrogen fuel cell system with an on-site electrolyser, a 20kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system and a 1kW concentrated PV system.

Renewable energy technologies to benefit rural Venda village

Other infrastructure for the multipurpose centre includes a borehole for a hydroponics tunnel to provide high-quality produce and ensure efficient water usage. The system also enables a fruit tree nursery to support emerging farmers, and an agro-processing facility that will address food waste due to spoilage, increase shelf-life and add value to the horticultural fresh produce.

The Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Mr. Buti Manamela, will launch the project at Mugoidwa Secondary School on Wednesday, 8 December, and later visit the Masia Multipurpose Centre.

He will be joined by the local authority leader, Vhamusanda Vho ED Mulaudzi, Prof. Sampson Mamphweli, Director of the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies at Stellenbosch University, and other stakeholders including representatives from the Agricultural Research Council.

Members of the media are invited as follows:
First leg

Date: 8 December 2021
Time: 08:00 to 10:30
Venue: Mugoidwa Secondary School, Vuwani, Limpopo

Second leg

Venue: Masia Multipurpose Centre
Time: 11:00 – 13:00

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