Minister Mantashe hands over IeC to the Qamata community
South Africa - The South African Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Mr. Gwede Mantashe handed over the Integrated Energy Centre (IeC) to the Thembisile Hani IeC Co-operative in the Qamata community of the Eastern Cape Province. The department, in partnership with PetroSA, has established the IeC to enhance access to affordable and sustainable energy services, job creation and stimulate rural enterprise development.
“The IeC will be beneficial to the community of Qamata with the services that it will provide. It has created job opportunities for the community and the surrounding areas," said Minister Mantashe during the visit.
The project is named after the Apartheid era struggle stalwart Chris Thembisile Hani. It is located along the R61 road at Qamata village outside Cofimvaba in Intsika Yethu Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province.
The Minister was joined by senior officials of the department, members of the Eastern Cape Provincial Executive, and the executives of local and district municipalities. The Minister pleaded with the members of the co-operative to protect the centre and ensure that it does not fail.
"More important is that it will be owned and managed by the co-operative members that were recruited from the community. This means they will acquire the necessary business management skills,” added Minister Mantashe.
The centre is also equipped with a computer centre that will provide free internet access to students and youth. As a stakeholder that is responsible for ongoing training and development of the staff at the site, PetroSA has committed to render ongoing support to the board and the staff until they are able to manage the site on their own.
The IeC board chairperson, Ms. Sylvia Twala, thanked all the stakeholders involved in the project and committed on behalf of the board to provide proper governance and ensure that it is successful.
"We believe the IeC will be the catalyst for development in Qamata and the surrounding areas in many ways," concluded Minister Mantashe.
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