08 Oct 20 News Communities South Africa

Wind farm-funded daily meals provide 'hope and dignity'

Youngsters queue for bowls of hot soup as winter delivered a biting sting to its tail in Prince Alfred Hamlet

Hundreds of people have been fending off the bitterly cold end to South Africa’s winter with warming free meals provided with the support of their local wind farm.

Temperatures were still plummeting as October began, with “disruptive” snowfall, strong winds, heavy rain and flooding affecting swathes of the Western Cape.

A volunteer hands over one of more than 500 meals that were prepared every day for four weeks

But with funding from the Perdekraal East Wind Farm, local charities were able to extend their food distribution programmes to help the most vulnerable in the Witzenberg municipal area communities of Bella Vista, Nduli, Vredebes, Prince Alfred Hamlet and Ceres.

Jo-Anne Brown, Mainstream’s Economic Development Manager at the wind farm, explained: “We have been collaborating with four NGOs in the area, who were providing meals of soup in the five allocated communities, with the promise of offering at least one meal to 500 community members, for five days, over a four-week period.”

The funding allowed Warrick Alexander and his team at Witz Events Network to implement their programme, aptly named Feeding our Communities with Hope.

He said: “With the Covid-19 infections reaching their predicted peak, many lost focus of the hungry tummies and frustrated households in our communities, with grandmothers having to make a plan as to where the next meal will come from. So this funding has not only been helping us feed our people with food, but also provides hope and dignity.”

Other NGOs that are providing the community support are Vrolike Vinkies and Witzenberg Justice Coalition in collaboration with Rural Development Support Programme.

The project began in early September in a bid to deliver further Covid-19 support to the area.

Brown added: “At the beginning of lockdown, we worked with the Department of Social Development to fund food parcels to 150 households within our partner communities, as well as to farms in the Karoo area, which provided meals for about a month, to over 400 people.”

  • The 110MW Perdekraal Wind Farm has been developed, is being constructed and will be operated by Mainstream for our Africa joint venture, Lekela Power. When commissioned later this year, it will have the capacity to generate 368,800 MWh/year of clean, renewable power into South Africa’s national power grid.