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Arrival of the First Turbines
for the Largest Wind
Farm in Africa at Cookhouse
Arrival of the first turbines for the largest wind farm in Africa IMG-20130405-00010
The first consignment of 16 turbines destined for the largest wind farm in Africa, have arrived at Coega Port, near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The arrival of these turbines, featuring impressive 44-meter-long blades, is the very first under the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPPPP) announced in 2010.
First Round
The Cookhouse Wind Farm, developed under the First Round of the REIPPPP, is located between Cookhouse and Bedford in the Eastern Cape. Construction commenced in early February this year, and the wind farm, when built, will be the largest in Africa, consisting of 66 Suzlon 2.1MW turbines with an installed capacity of 138.6MW, enough to power about 145 000 low income homes. Power is expected to be supplied to the Eskom grid by the second quarter of 2014.
The Cookhouse Wind Farm was developed by ACED (African Clean Energy Developments) and is owned by a consortium of African infrastructure investors including Apollo and African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2 (AIIF2), both advised by African Infrastructure Investment Managers (a joint venture between Old Mutual Investment Group SA (OMIGSA) and Macquarie Group of Australia); The Infrastructure, Developmental and Environmental Assets Managed Fund (IDEAS), managed by OMIGSA; AFPOC and the local communities of Cookhouse, Bedford, Somerset East and Adelaide through their ownership in the Cookhouse Wind Farm Community Trust. The project is financed by Standard Bank of South Africa, Nedbank and Futuregrowth Asset Management. The main contractor is Suzlon Wind Energy South Africa, a subsidiary of the Suzlon Group, the 5th largest turbine supplier in the world.
The Cookhouse project was developed in close partnership with, and has had significant support from, the local municipalities and communities. These organisations have played a key role in assisting the development of the project and ensuring that it is delivered in a manner that works for the benefit of the surrounding community. A Community Liaison Office has been established in Cookhouse to serve as an interface between the project and the local communities. The local communities of Cookhouse, Bedford, Somerset East and Adelaide will all benefit from the project, while social and economic development will be driven by local job creation, significant local sourcing and community ownership.
At the dockside, Dr Jannie Retief, CEO of the Cookhouse Windfarm said “We are very excited at this significant milestone for the Cookhouse Wind Farm, and indeed for the broader Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPPPP). We understand this to be the very first shipment of turbines of any of the Round 1 REIPPPP projects, and it’s certainly great to finally see the turbines arrive on South African soil! I’ve been involved in many wind farms and honestly believe that we have the potential to be one of the best wind farms in Africa.”





RURAL Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti turned lifelong dreams into reality on Thursday 04 April 8, 2013, when he officially handed over 25 biofuel farms worth R346-million to former labourers in Cradock. Six (6) of those farms were handed over to Blue Crane Route Municipality beneficiaries. Beneficiaries from Blue Crane are; Ayanda Mehlo, Soleni, S. Miners, Draghoender, J. W. Walters and NARYSEC.

However, the Minister warned the new farmers they would lose the land if they did not use it productively.
“You [the beneficiaries] will not just sit on the farms – you will work. It will be a case of use it or lose it,” he said.
“The biggest problem in South Africa is that people are too lazy. People are given land all the time, but all they ever do is complain about what government did not do for them.
“We will take the farms from those who sit on the land and do not work, and give them to people who will work,” Nkwinti said.

The project aims to empower emerging farmers and convert crops like sugar beet and sorghum into ethanol at a R1.1-billion plant that is to be built at Cradock. The farms, which are in Cradock, Cookhouse and Somerset East, collectively measure 16000ha. The biofuels project is one of the first in South Africa and was initiated as a pilot project in 2006. The project was initially designed to turn sugar beet, which extensive trials have shown grows exceptionally well in the lush Fish River Valley, into sugar. But it changed tack about seven years ago when a decision was made to turn it into ethanol instead.

The beneficiaries were chosen based on their skills and attitude towards farming; ability to operate with minimal assistance; willingness to use the arable land for the production of crops for the ethanol project, and proof of ownership of livestock and agricultural assets.
Nkwinti said the plant to be built in Cradock was proof that biofuel farming could be successful in the area.

“We have to devise means to ensure that we are energy secure. Not only the [national] department, but also the provincial department will provide technical support to the farmers.
“It is not just for business – although it is a business for them. It is also a strategic plan for the country to ensure that we have enough petrol and diesel to fly planes and drive cars.”
The handover was also attended by Cacadu District Municipality mayor Khunjuzwa Kekana, Inxuba Yethemba Municipality mayor Nyameka Goniwe, Blue Crane Route Municipality mayor Marjorie Scott, provincial Rural Development and Land Reform officials, and community members.

deur A.N. Venter
‘n Familie van hier is tans op moedverloor se vlakte oor ‘n familielid wat op 18 Maart laas lewend gesien is. Die man, Herbert du Preez, ook bekend as Zolsie is op die dag laas in die Newtownwoorbuurt hier opgemerk. Herbert wat oorspronklik van Hertzog is, is in sy laat veertigs.
Na bewering is hy op die dag van sy verdwyning met sy hond na die veld om heuning te gaan soek.
Die hond het dieselfde dag alleen van die veld teruggekom. ‘n Soekgeselskap is van stapel gestuur maar het niks opgelewer nie. Honde is selfs oor die naweek sonder enige sukses ingespan om na Herbert te soek. Enigeen wat inligting oor Herbert het, word versoek om die polisie op Fort Beaufort te kontak. Hulle kan my ook persoonlik skakel by 071 8878 421.

  • Baboon trained to change signals at railway station
  • Belge doen gemeenskapsdiens in Cradock
  • Old Gillians weekend 8 & 9 August
  • R1,041 Billion increase in irregular municipal tenders

The Somerset Budget is now available in full colour. (PDF)
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