- Jul 22, 2012
The iShack Project runs an off-grid solar home system business (on a not-for-profit, but financially sustainable basis) for residents of the Enkanini informal settlement, and is aiming to develop this as a franchise model for export to other informal settlements, with the Enkanini iShack Project as the first of these franchises. Solar home systems consisting of a 70 - 90 Watts panel, two indoor LED lights, one TV, an outdoor spotlight and phone charging facilities are provided to residents on a fee-for-service basis, with customers paying an initial installation fee of R150, and monthly installments of R130 thereafter to use the system.
A further deposit component is now being introduced to reduce the rate and cost of system damage and theft. Users can also choose to upgrade their panels to cover other appliances such as fridges or DVD players. iShack takes responsibility for operation and maintenance of the system, and since 2011 over 1000 systems have been installed out of 2,500 households in the settlement under the project.
Among other support, the iShack ‘demonstration’ project is funded by national government, through the Green Fund of the national Department of Environmental Affairs. It also enjoys the support of the Stellenbosch Municipality, which has made it possible for indigent residents of Enkanini to have their solar subscription subsidised in line with the applicable policy.
In November 2015, Stellenbosch Municipality received an award from the South African National Energy Association (SANEA) in relation to the iShack Project.
Source: SDR Vol 11 No.1 of 2015/16