PetroSA, South Africa’s National Oil Company, is living up to its mandate of securing fuel supplies for all, with the decision to establish a multi-million rand Integrated Energy Centre (IeC) for Qamata, a rural village in the Eastern Cape.
An IeC is a one-stop-centre offering energy services to rural communities. It aims to provide access to affordable and quality energy services to impoverished rural communities. The concept is the brainchild of the Department of Energy. In November 2012 PetroSA launched a multi-million rand IeC at Mbizana, in the northern section of the Eastern Cape. The facility was PetroSA’s first fully-branded trading outlet.
The Mbizana IeC houses an information centre, a convenience store, a car wash, an energy shop, ablution facilities and a fuels forecourt. It employs 15 people from the community of Mbizana.
PetroSA executives performed a sod-turning ceremony at the site of the Qamata IeC with dignitaries that included Mlibo Qoboshiyane, the MEC of Local Government in the Eastern Cape on Friday 23 August 2013.
The planning, design, engineering and procurement phase of the project to establish the Qamata IeC is expected to finish in December 2013. The construction phase is planned to start in January 2014. When completed, it will sell petrol, diesel, paraffin, candles, and LPG, among other products. The Qamata IeC will lead to job creation in the area and also provide support to SMME’s in the energy sector, through the provision of wholesale products.
The IeC will be owned and managed by a community co-operative that expects to plough back profits on development initiatives. It will serve communities resident within a 30km radius of the IeC.
Ms Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo, the PetroSA Group CEO, said a feasibility study had indicated that the Qamata IeC would be viable. The study had found that ‘a site at Qamata Station along the R61 is deemed to be an ideal for the proposed IeC due to its accessibility by other surrounding villages and adequate traffic volumes traveling on the R61 towards the towns of Cofimvaba and Queenstown’.
She said PetroSA therefore had a mandate to ensure all South Africans had access to energy services and a security of fuel supply.
“This initiative is not only a commercial decision to introduce our energy products to this market, but it is also a corporate responsibility response by making energy services accessible to all communities, creating job opportunities, as well as empowering communities to have the means to change for the better,” Ms Nokwe-Macamo said.
“There is a dire need for affordable and quality energy products in the proposed IeC location and the surrounding villages,” she added.
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