Umoya Energy has been benefiting the community of Hopefield since 2013 when the Hopefield Home Improvement Project launched. This economic development programme, has already assisted around 590 households and has now commenced with its second phase, which will include the upgrade of 351 homes over a 3-year period and the creation of three local enterprises.
It is estimated that this Project has already benefited over 3 000 residents, whose lives are more comfortable, especially during the winter. Insulation, solar heated water, safe electrical installation and carpentry, have gone a long way to improve lives in this community. “We now have a ceiling, which we didn’t have before. The newly installed solar geyser, which uses energy from the sun, is a blessing, especially in winter, it’s amazing,” commented Lorenda Bruintjies, a resident of Hopefield who has benefited from this Project.
The Project was originally executed to improve the energy efficiency of low cost house in Hopefield by installing ceilings, electrical fittings, carpentry and plumbing. This has now evolved to include an Enterprise Development Programme, which aims to equip the contractors with the necessary equipment, guidance, business support and mentorship, in order to develop successful businesses.
Three businesses have graduated from a start-up incubation programme, and are now the primary local enterprises contracted to implement the work during the second phase of the Hopefield Home Improvement Project. Support provided by Umoya Energy to the enterprises includes mentorship, assistance with compliance, management, Human Resource matters and general business operations, all with the objective of ensuring that these businesses are successful in the delivery of a quality service at a profitable level.
The development and support of these Enterprises, also means local employment, secured by a 3-year contract with Umoya Energy, to upgrade local low-income homes. The 18 local artisans, who benefited from training during the Project’s first phase, have had two years to hone their skills.
A resident that has benefited from this programme, Caroline Coetzee, commented “My house is much cooler in the summer and much warmer in the winter due to the installation that has been placed in my roof. The solar geyser, which uses energy from the sun, means that my water is nice and warm and I pay less electricity.”