Cennergi – Making A Difference in COVID-hit Communities When and Where it Matters Most

As the economic heartbeat of so many of the communities in which it operates, Cennergi invested in the people it serves. While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have left no nation or community untouched, bringing untold loss and devastation, it is also provided a platform for Cennergi to demonstrate their hearts for the people of the Eastern Cape Province.

COVID-19 Community Support Initiatives

In the efforts to realise their commitment to driving socio-economic development and sustainability, both the Amakhala Emoyeni Community Fund Trust  (AECFT) and the Tsitsikamma Wind Farm Trust (TWFT) which were founded by Cennergi have established a network of community development projects to mitigate the widespread need within the local communities.

TSITSIKAMMA COMMUNITY WIND FARM

One of primary lines of defence in the face of an unknown health risk is ensuring a healthy immune system and practising daily hygiene. In response to this need, Tsitsikamma Wind Farm Trust on behalf of the Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm responded to the Wittekleibosch Area Management Committee’s request for donation to purchase groceries and vegetables for the local community. Through this support, 95 households in the Wittekleibosch community were provided with much-needed nourishment.

The food relief support resulted in a collective effort where local leaders from Tsitsikamma Development Trust (TDT) and TWFT also got their hands dirty by contributing where they could,  all working together to sort and distribute groceries and food parcels to more than 450 households within the Amafengu communities, which fall under the control of the Tsitsikamma Development Trust – which has a 9% shareholding in the Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm (RF) Pty (Ltd).

Other than boosting immune systems, fastidious hygiene practices are also crucial to fighting the spread of COVID-19. To this end, the TWFT also donated bars of soap and bottles of liquid soap to more than 3 900 households in the Amamfengu and Koukamma areas. In partnership with Jeffery’s Bay and Kouga wind farms, TWFT donated essential PPE health supplies to the Tsitsikamma, Langkloof and Kouga health clusters, which were valued at over R477 000,00 via the health centres within the Kouga and Koukamma municipalities.

Education and Skills Development is one of the key pillars where young people are nurtured through various programmes to ensure a better future for themselves and their families. TWFT extended its support to Qhayiyalethu FET centre located in Kareedouw. The school has a history of poor matric performance and lack of key teaching staff. This has resulted in the school not offering Maths and Science until 2016, where Cennergi intervened and encouraged the school to review the decision not to offer these critical subjects. Since then, TWFT adopted the school to ensure improved performance by offering the required resources.

The most recent intervention was the GammaTutor programme initiated in partnership with the Nelson Mandela University, under the Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Centre, which seeks to find innovative ways to improve teaching and learning of mathematics and physical sciences in South African schools and colleges. The programme includes 33 GammaTutors & Digital Screens, pre-installed with the extended TouchTutor® resources placed in the school.

These devices serve as Maths (Grades 8-12) and Science (Grades 10-12) teaching tools for the classroom and serve as offline mobile resource centres for after school learner support and self-directed learning. The total project cost was R285 000.00.

AMAKHALA EMOYENI WIND FARM

Cookhouse and Bedford Dividend Trusts

Amakhala Emoyeni Cookhouse Community Trust which has a 2.5% community shareholding in Amakhala Emoyeni RE Project 1 (RF) (Pty) Ltd was pivotal in the donation of much-needed food parcels to 1 900 struggling households in the Cookhouse community including the surrounding farms whereas more than 100 food parcels targeted the farm workers. Central to the distribution activities were Mr Bonisile Manxoweni, Executive Mayor of Blue Crane Municipality, together with Mr Simphiwe Mbenya of Cennergi. At a time of great difficulty and desperation in the community, it is selfless acts like these that demonstrate the true fibre and grit of community leaders.

Amakhala Emoyeni Bedford Community Trust which also has a 2.5% community shareholding in the project was just as prevalent amid its local community’s needs. An initiative to donate and distribute food parcels to more than 2 400 local households in need was spearheaded by the local Bedford trustee, Mandisa Gongqa. In addition, the Trust purchased Industrial laundry equipment for the Bedford Hospital at a value R 790 015.50

Amakhala Emoyeni Community Fund Trust

As part of the nationwide effort to equip our hospitals with the means to treat symptomatic Covid-19 patients, the Amakhala Emoyeni Community Fund Trust (AECFT) on behalf of Amakhala Emoyeni RE Project 1 (RF) (Pty) Ltd supported its local communities by supplying essential PPE equipment and hygiene materials to three major hospitals in the two municipalities in which the Amakhala Emoyeni Wind Farm operates.

Another practical demonstration by the Trust was the donation of two 18kg LG top-loading washing machines to the Adelaide Hospital and Andries Vosloo Hospital to answer to the crucial daily need for effective and efficient cleaning of hospital laundry. The Trust also donated the much-needed food parcels to 440 struggling households in Somerset East and other 440 households in Adelaide.

Lifesaving initiative was implemented by means of 15 Oxygen Concentrators for the 3 hospitals, namely Andries Vosloo Hospital, Bedford Hospital and Adelaide Hospital located in the area, in receipt of the donation made by AECFT, Ms Sindiswa Gede Department of Health, Amathole District Municipality Manager said, “This is a very big gesture for us as the hospital, for me this is touching my heart, we had a challenge of oxygen availability, and we once lost one of our colleagues in this hospital due to lack of oxygen. Your intervention is one of its kind in this province because these equipment's are rear to be found in public hospitals and it will go a long way in saving lives. Thank you to Amakhala and its trust board, may our relationship continue” 

Saluting the Frontliners

Reflecting on his trust’s collective efforts over the last four months, the trustee, Mr Tukani, says, “I am grateful that we have a vehicle such as the AECFT, which is able to support my community during this challenging time”. Echoing his sentiments, Dr Yousuf, CEO of Andries Vosloo Hospital, added, “On behalf of management and staff at our hospital, we say thank you to AECFT. Together we are fighting this pandemic and we will certainly flatten the curve. In the words of Danie du Plessis, Cennergi’s CEO, “It has been an honor and a privilege to be in partnership with our community through the good work of our community development projects to bring about upliftment, hope and good health at a time when they need it most.” 

Cennergi CSI initiatives 

In addition to the socio-economic development and enterprise development funding available to fulfill the Economic Development commitments by Amakhala Emoyeni and Tsitsikamma Community Wind farms, Cennergi uses its Corporate Social Responsibility funding to support and improve communities in the Port Elizabeth area.  One of the COVID19 identified hotspots within the Nelson Mandela Bay between March and July 2020 was Walmer Township, an area located only a few meters from Cennergi’s corporate office. This has necessitated Cennergi to direct its efforts to help the Walmer Clinics with the much-needed support for PPE materials to the value of R22 900.00. In addition, Cennergi also donated hospital bedding and linen to Dora Nginza Hospital to the value of R28 455.00.