South Africa has experienced a severe electricity shortage for several years. Eskom, the state-owned power utility, has been unable to cope with power production and maintenance. Consequently, the entire nation has had to endure sporadic, unanticipated power interruptions, along with regular "load shedding" periods, lasting four to eight hours daily without electricity. While politicians offer assurances that a solution is coming within the next few years, the complexity of these issues suggests that resolving them may extend well beyond that timeline.
This situation caused a significant challenge for Mukhanyo's Johannesburg campus, as they have few windows in their classrooms. This resulted in dark classrooms during load shedding, which, in turn, brought the lectures to a halt and prohibited the use of computers and other office equipment. Unfortunately, the campus's emergency battery backup power has proven to be insufficient to address these issues adequately.
Several solutions were considered, including the installation of solar panels together with an inverter and lithium batteries which are estimated to cost around R240 000. Mukhanyo approached a donor organisation, De Verre Naaste, in the Netherlands to request support for this project.
The Mukhanyo operations team expresses deep gratitude for the generous assistance provided by De Verre Naaste for this initiative! Thanks to their support, a system comprising 16 solar panels has been successfully installed. This installation now ensures that the campus can resume its regular operations without any interruptions.
Rev. Lance Laughton, senior lecturer in Johannesburg, says “On behalf of the students, staff and faculty of the Johannesburg Campus, I’d like to express our sincere appreciation for the solar panels and inverter which were recently installed on the property.”
“This year, our students do not need to write exams by the light of suspended LED lamps in the exam room because of load shedding – which was far from ideal. The faculty and staff have enjoyed uninterrupted wifi and some other comforts as well, all of which have greatly enhanced the teaching and discipleship on the property.”
“Thank you so much. I’m reminded that ‘every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above’ but his gifts often come through human hearts and hands. Please relay our deep appreciation to all who made this possible.”
The most pressing requirement for solar power was undoubtedly at the Johannesburg campus. Moreover, Mukhanyo is initiating research efforts for two other campuses facing similar energy challenges. KwaMhlanga, our largest campus, is next in line. We anticipate a need of around R400 000 for a comprehensive solar system at this campus.