The SolarWorld Sun-TV Station project, a legacy of South Africa’s 2010 Soccer World Cup celebrated the opening of the World Cup Brazil with a community event at Gansbaai on Friday, 13th June, 2014 for local youth to watch one of the opening soccer matches.
The solar powered television station was developed by SolarWorld for rural and urban areas. It was installed in more than 35 rural communities across Southern Africa in 2010 and has sustained itself under maintenance by SolarWorld Africa over the last four years.
Says Gregor Küpper, Managing Director of SolarWorld Africa: “We developed the Sun-TV system in 2010 in order to provide access for the communities to the Soccer World Cup in South Africa, with little or no access to electricity, to be able to watch the games and their soccer heroes. Further, our aim was to provide a long-term sustainable solution to education and information. We installed a system which could be used to watch educational programmes within a safe space to learn, assisted by the use of new media, powered by the sun. Now, four years on, the Sun-TV Stations are proving their worth, by enabling these communities to be part of the Soccer World Cup again.”
In Gansbaai, SolarWorld funded and installed the Sun-TV at Gansbaai Communal Sports Centre’s Dibanisa Project, supported by the Grootbos Foundation. This has enabled the young soccer-lovers of Gansbaai to watch their soccer heroes and make dreams come true of enjoying the World Cup matches in 2010 and 2014.
The station comprises of a 42inch television set with DVD player and satellite receiver. The power for the station is supplied by two 260Ah batteries and an inverter which is built into the cabinet. These batteries are charged via 300 watts of SolarWorld solar modules and thus are all monitored by a charge controller, also built into the cabinet.
Says Küpper: “There were many social upliftment projects launched during the World Cup. The Sun-TV Stations have proven their worth playing an important role in the education of these disadvantaged youth. We are delighted to enable the community to once again be part of the Soccer World Cup taking place in Brazil.”
The community response is overwhelmingly positive and the benefits go beyond sports into social and technological upliftment. Often, it is the only means for people to see the world beyond their neighbourhood. In instances where there was no lighting, SolarWorld also supplied the area with a night light option. In this way, it has enabled us to demonstrate the multiple applications of this modern and sustainable solar technology and is in line with our global sustainability strategy.”
Says Léan Terblanche, Managing Director at the Grootbos Foundation: “We use the Sun-TV to offer educational lessons to children, youth and adults from three different communities in the area. This is a point where the children can gather and have access to education and television in a safe environment. Children receive coaching, HIV-, environmental-, and career education as well as personal development training. It is uplifting to see three different communities uniting. Even after four years we continue to benefit from this unique project.”
In Kliptown, Soweto SolarWorld partnered with NDO-Altus Sport and installed a Sun-TV station which has played an important role in education and to assist the development of the community’s health and environment.
Says Gert Potgieter: NDO-Altus Sport Director: “We will once again be inviting the community to enjoy the Sun-TV broadcasts of the World Cup matches in Brazil. The youth and parents also enjoy educational videos as well as programmes such as sports and nature. The installation of the Sun-TV has changed their view on life and the world. It has increased their general knowledge as they are able to see things which they did not know before. I see the Sun-TV as very positive as people do not depend on electricity to use it.”
Concludes Küpper: “We have achieved our goal of promoting a sustainability approach, with a common spirit and using the media to focus on education, social integration and environmental awareness.”