De Aar Solar Project benefits the communities in the vicinity of the solar farm in multiple ways, including enterprise and socio-economic development that promotes access to the economy for local people, procurement and employment opportunities that plough financial resources into the local area as well as the establishment of a local community trust.
De Aar Solar Power spends a percentage of revenues on these programmes.
Socio-economic development initiatives promote access to the economy for all people.
Enterprise development includes initiatives to assist and accelerate the sustainability of local enterprises.
The socio-economic focus is on education support programmes, including:
These programmes will continue for the 20 year life of the project and will focus on local communities in the De Aar, Britstown and Hanover areas.
8% of De Aar Solar Power is owned by Sibona Ilanga Trust, this percentage is significantly higher that the government’s minimum threshold of 2,5% local ownership.
To finance its share of the cost of constructing the project, the trust secured a loan from the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA). The loan will be repaid through the shareholder dividends generated by the project and once repaid the trust will use its share of the dividends to benefit the local community within 50km of the project.
During construction, De Aar Solar Power provided employment opportunities to as many as 520 people, the majority of whom were from the local community.
In addition, many indirect jobs were created or sustained at local manufacturers and suppliers through the project and its contractor’s procurement of goods and services from the local community.
Now in operation, De Aar Solar Power provides long-term employment for 20 people to operate and maintain the plant.