The procurement processes for the installation of solar energy systems under the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) Solar Water Heating programme has not yet started, with no systems installed during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years.
In response to a Parliamentary question, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi explained that the delay in the installation process was owing to the need to finalise the necessary controls and systems to mitigate the the problems experienced in the previous roll-out model.
Along with a global positioning system verification and tracking system, these included local buy-in from municipalities through the signing of the municipal framework agreement and the identification of the designated installation areas (DIAs) within the municipality, as well as the identification and accredited training of installers in each DIA.
Further mitigation comprised the social facilitation to ensure that the beneficiary community has been exposed to the operational requirements of solar water heater systems, and to align community expectations through the social facilitation platform.
The DoE also confirmed the purchase of 59 396 units as at April 3, 2017, which are currently being stored.