Since 2011, Enel Green Power South Africa (EGP RSA) has become one of the leading providers of renewable energy in the country, intent on changing lives through the production of 1,2 GW of renewable energy as well as via its enterprise development (ED) and socio-economic development (SED) programmes.

EGP RSA forms part of the greater Enel Group, which is represented in 30 countries and produces more than 90GW of energy for about 70 million homes and businesses globally. Enel’s renewables arm – Enel Green Power – boasts a total capacity of 54GW worldwide and a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric power and energy storage facilities.

Forecasts shared by the International Energy Agency (IEA) note that renewable energy providers have a pivotal role to play in achieving the African development goal of 100GW installed power by 2030. Enel Green Power understands the importance of inclusivity and that having a vested interest in the communities it operates in is necessary to help to achieve this goal.

This is why the business is committed to providing meaningful socio-economic and enterprise development programmes, preferential procurement and job creation within the communities surrounding each of its 12 projects in South Africa. It has implemented several initiatives aimed at encouraging local businesses to supply goods and services at its operations and projects.

To date, the company has invested R140.3 million across various ED and SED programmes. This is made up of a total estimated ED spend of R35.1 million and estimated SED spend of R105.2 million. “Our investment in people is paramount as we know it is through people that we can power the continent,” said Manuele Battisti – Country Manager at Enel Green Power South Africa.

Enterprise Development programmes

  • Purchase of equipment and/or material to enable the growth of businesses
  • Funding of training to equip business owners with the skills required to operate their businesses better
  • Start-up or growth funding for new and newly established SMMEs
  • Funding of business owner salaries or staff during challenging periods such as the Covid-19 pandemic and its lock-down restrictions

Enel Green Power’s socio-economic development programmes focus on three key areas: education and skills development, social welfare and healthcare.

SED programmes in education and skills development

  • A Bursary Programme, which fully and at times partially (case dependent) covers tuition fees and accommodation for learners from underprivileged homes. The programme also covers a stipend and student council provided by a registered bursary management agency.
  • After-school programmes for the development of learners from local high schools. Here, students are given extra classes to assist them with subjects they may struggle with at school.
  • Career development for primary school learners such as coding. Covid-19 made it clear that school pupils need to learn how to be digitally savvy from a young age.

SED programmes in Social Welfare

  • Provision of free community Wi-Fi to ensure the communities have access to the internet at all times
  • Food parcels for families affected by Covid-19 lock-down and restrictions
  • Nutrition programmes are implemented at community schools to ensure that school pupils and educators are fed
  • Funding of IT hubs
  • Funding of sports fields and gyms to ensure that school pupils have sports facilities for their extra mural activities

SED Healthcare initiatives

  • Health promotion programmes
  • Establishment of wellness centres
  • Provision of health care PPE in response to the Covid-19 pandemic

“For us at Enel Green Power, sustainability not only applies to the renewable energy we provide but to the people whose lives we are changing, business owners we are empowering, students we are upskilling and health we are restoring, all in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We will continue to grow our ED and SED programmes to ensure that we play a meaningful role in transforming our world; choosing a better tomorrow,” concludes Battisti.

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