The Sungrid Group, developer, manufacturer and distributor of portable (solar) power and lighting products, has partnered with The Community Chest of the Western Cape to both power and empower Cape Town’s rural and township communities.
“A key part of our company’s focus is to have our products make a difference in the lives of others,” says Hugo Blaisse, director, Sungrid Group and responsible for all NGO and other CSI related activities. To this end, the last few months has seen Sungrid Group partner with leading humanitarian agencies including the likes of United Nations, in its bid to fulfil on this vision.
Known as the ‘Amandla Project’, the objective behind Sungrid Group’s local initiative with The Community Chest is to address unemployment, whilst combatting the effects that load shedding has on those with limited resources. “We live in a country where, at any given time, up to 10 million people have no access to electricity,” continues Blaisse. “Add to this the catastrophic effects on business and lifestyle as a result of ever-increasing load shedding, and it becomes virtually impossible for many South Africans to improve their quality of life or create financially viable opportunities.”
The Amanda Project aims to change this. Operating under the slogan ‘Power your home; Empower your life’, it is providing entrepreneurs in townships and rural areas with the opportunity to not only power their homes, but also to use the products as a business tool to generate income.
“The basis for the project lies in the specially designed Ecoboxx Entrepreneur Kits,” says Blaisse. A solar generator providing plug-and-play portable light and power, Ecoboxx has been very well received in the local market since its launch early 2014. Powered by unique lead crystal battery technology, it is highly durable with double the lifespan of conventional alternatives. With a range of more than 10 power Qubes (50W to 1500W), EcoBoxx caters to any and all power needs.
The specially designed Ecoboxx Entrepreneur Kits are easily transportable and effortlessly set up at any locale. Capable of providing 80 hours of power, it comes complete with two bright LED lights, a USB-driven fan, hair clipper and a multi-device mobile phone charging cable. “Basically, it enables any aspiring entrepreneur to not only power their own home, but similarly to generate an income by opening up a barber shop and selling mobile phone charging time, anywhere there is a need,” continues Blaisse.
The project has already trained 300 graduates, with up to 1000 kits to be distributed over the coming year. “It is our hope, and our goal, that by using our products in this way in townships and rural areas, that it will have a positive impact on the economic development of South Africa and its people,” concludes Blaisse.
For more information on The Sungrid Group, visit www.sungridgroup.com.