Respecting cultures. Consulting with communities. Finding ways to make a difference. It’s all about doing the right thing.
At Mainstream it’s not just another tick-box. It’s how we conduct business. We’ve put into practice a series of measures that can enhance our positive impact on society, on the communities in which we work, and the partners with whom we collaborate.
We work with communities throughout all our projects supporting local initiatives – here are some examples of our efforts in SA.
De Aar Solar PV
The Foundation for Alcohol Related Research (FARR) – South Africa has the highest reported Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) prevalence rate in the world, with the highest rate recorded in De Aar, Northern Cape. The Foundation for Alcohol Research (FARR) was the first organisation in South Africa to raise the concern about FAS and to undertake community research, prevention and management programmes. FARR has been working in De Aar since 2002 and since then, the FAS prevalence rate has dropped by 30%. Mainstream has been working with FARR to identify a number of opportunities to support them and in October 2011, the company sponsored the CEO and area Co-ordinator of FARR (pictured below) to walk from De Aar to Kimberley. Along their journey they addressed schools, community groups and farm workers on the prevention of FAS.
Droogfontein Solar PV
Educational support with the M² Coffee Shop Project – This project was chosen as it is an innovative and creative response to the challenges facing education in South Africa with special focus on mathematics, science and english, as well as skills development. Mainstream SA has invested in providing 60 Grade 9 pupils (through enhanced holiday and weekend maths and science classes) to improve exam results and outcomes.
Mainstream SA has committed to further invest in this class in 2012 and 2013 to ensure that the current group of Grade 9 learners are provided for, through to Grade 12 on an annual basis. Thus Mainstream SA has effectively adopted this current group of learners.
Mainstream not only provides financial assistance but also invests time to visit the school and educate the pupils on renewable energy. Mainstream has also arranged for site visits (see below picture) to our proposed PV site in Kimberley to see first-hand the initial components of the site including the pyrometer (a solar measurement instrument).
Jeffreys Bay wind farm
Joshua Project Community Educational Programme – The Joshua Project in Jeffreys Bay is a safe haven for vulnerable children at risk and for children living on the street. The project also offers education and skills development services for young adults. Mainstream is supporting the project’s efforts to provide educational support for vulnerable children, to help give them a safe and protective environment in which they can learn and gain new skills. As part of this work Mainstream have donated new computers and software for use by the children and young adults in the centre run by the Joshua Project.
Sponsorship of the Pellsrus Kids Surf Team – Mainstream SA has been providing funding to the Pellsrus Kids Surf Team to make it possible for them to enter contests on the SA competition circuit. The Pellsrus Kids Surf Team is the brainchild of Thys Styrdom, Jeffrey’s Bay local and nationally renowned surfboard manufacturer. His vision is simple: to open up the sport of surfing to the surrounding poor and disadvantaged communities of Jeffrey’s Bay. Thys has identified and coached 6 of the best up and coming surfers from the neighbouring Pellsrus township area. The kids on the team are truly talented, and at their young age they have an immense passion for surfing and are showing real potential to make it in the professional surfing world. “I have been supporting these kids for a number of years now in any way possible but times are tough and financial assistance is limited.”
The goal of the Pellsrus Kids Surf Team is to get these surfers exposed to all the contests in SA, so that they can get ratings. “With proper exposure, global surf companies will no doubt spot them and provide them the opportunity to compete overseas and hopefully turn professional, better their lives, so that they can rise above their circumstances.’ In March 2013, the Pellsrus Kids Surf Team was delighted that Rewaldo Abersalie came 1st in the RCVA junior series.
Touws River Cricket Club, Konstabel
Members of Mainstream SA recently played a friend cricket match with Touws River Cricket Club. The village, Touws River is located only 20kms from Mainstream’s proposed 50MW solar energy project, Konstabel. Mainstream recognizes that teamwork is part of its success and it was a privilege to both have a match against the local cricket club but to also contribute to the cricket club by sponsoring cricket bats, balls, gloves and clothing. Mainstream SA believes that by contributing to the community, and importantly, the youth of today, it can make a difference in the years that will follow.
Noupoort IT Room Project
Mainstream SA proudly supports the Noupoort IT room project. In 2011, the Noupoort Christian Care Centre (NCCC) merged its training centre with the IT centre for schools in Noupoort (set-up by the Municipality of Umsobomvu) to create one large facility for the community. Mainstream partnered with Microsoft to equip the new facility with computers, monitors, a printer, projector, up-to-date software and internet connection. The result of which means the community of Noupoort has a fully functioning computer room used to promote the use of technology and to teach the skill-sets needed to get the most from IT.
Women’s food security project in Loeriesfontein
The Loeriesfontein Women’s food security project helps local women to develop and maintain a vegetable production co-op. The vegetables are sold to the local community enhancing food security in the area and providing much needed income to the women. In 2012, Mainstream provided the project with a solar water pump, and irrigation pipes to help reduce electricity costs. Pictured below, Ralph Damonse, Project Manager for Mainstream SA with representatives from the Loeriesfontein Women’s security project.
Prieska Solar PV Pupil Sponsorship
Mainstream promotes education and in particular STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths). At the Prieska High School, Mainstream is sponsoring the annual school fees of ten pupils (7 boys and 3 girls). Assisted by the Headmaster, these Grade 11 /12 pupils (pictured) were selected, as they were deemed to be most in need of financial assistance. Mainstream is proud to support the next generation of engineers in SA and will continue to support those pupils who show passion and ability in these subjects in particular.