Hydrogen fuel tech to benefit rural Eastern Cape communities

JUNE 15, 2015

Around 26 schools in the rural Cofimvaba are set to benefit from hydrogen fuel technology that they will use as standby power to improve their kids' education. The project is a result of a partnership between the Department of Science and Technology in partnership with private sector companies.

Speaking at Cofimvaba, where a pilot Hydrogen fuel technology project was launched on Friday, Science and Technology Minister, Naledi Pandor, said that renewable energy will play a pivotal role in transforming rural and disadvantaged communities. 

The project will also address issues of health, water and sanitation, energy nutrition and agriculture.

"What is exciting is to see the role that renewable energy can play in providing power to our schools so that they can be able to carry out their work. But more importantly is the initiative to take energy to the homes in this community so that these fuel cells and solar panels just not sitting in the school yards but we would like to see the community and children benefitting when they go back home," Pandor said.

Speaking at the same event, Eastern Cape MEC for Education, Mandla Makupula, said that rural schools in the area that have been exposed to technology have improved drastically.

"We have seen the pass rate going up the standard of education has improved since the introduction of this equipment’s. In one school there were 200 pupils now the number reaches 400 pupils, meaning these ICT tools are attracting children to school and the pass rate is improving and we are looking at positive developments," he said.

Meanwhile, Andrew Hinkly the Executive head of Anglo American, said that the partnership between the private sector and government will help in alleviating and uplifting rural communities.

Pupils also received tablet computers and were also exposed to a career guidance session so that they can choose careers wisely in the science and technology field at the event.