The Schréder Together Fund, in cooperation with the King Baudouin Foundation, aims to help towns and cities worldwide protect their vulnerable users and improve the quality of life and education in economically less privileged areas. In 2022, through our company in South Africa, BEKA Schréder, we partnered with Muelekanyi Technical Services NPC and Intal Power Trading to deliver and install a solar lighting solution for Tshinapfene village in Limpopo, South Africa.
Solar lighting for a better quality of life
In all, a total of 46 solar street lights on glass fibre-reinforced polyester (GRP) poles were donated with the intention to:
- increase the visibility of pedestrians at night;
- create a safe night-time environment for women and children;
- create jobs within the local community.
Resilient and sustainable lighting solution
The solar street light consists of a luminaire with an integrated solar module and battery storage to operate autonomously without an electrical supply cable. The smart solar charge controller with LED driver gives the community peace of mind that it has sufficient autonomy to cater for up to two continuous overcast or rainy days, to continue reliable night operations.
The street lights are fitted with a PIR (Passive Infrared) Motion Sensor that has a detection range of up to ten metres, enabling better energy storage management and lighting when it is needed.
The solar street lights are installed on GRP poles, which were ideal given the remote location and delivery distance. The low mass of the GRP poles saves installation costs as they have low:
- handling costs as no extra equipment is needed to load or offload the poles;
- transport costs due to the poles’ low weight and the higher stacking height on road freight;
- installation costs as no extra equipment is needed to erect the poles.
The poles are a bright canary yellow colour, making them highly visible to drivers on the narrow roads, thus limiting potential damage to this municipal infrastructure.
Empowering the community
The local Municipality will be responsible for operating the installation and carrying out any necessary maintenance. As part of the project, BEKA Schréder and Intal Power Trading provided installation and maintenance training for teams on-site with the goal of empowering the community to take ownership of this installation.
The street lights are very easy to install as all components are integrated in one housing.
A lasting legacy
The teams at Schréder were delighted to donate the solar street lights and poles and participate in the installation and training. We firmly believe that this off-grid lighting solution will provide a brighter and safer future for the community of Tshinapfene village.
It was equally a fitting tribute to the late Wimpie Ludwick, who in his capacity as General Manager of BEKA Schréder had been instrumental in defining the vision of the project with Muelekanyi Tshivhase of Muelekanyi Technical Services Foundation and Sylvia Siphugu of Intal Power Trading. The legacy of Wimpie was honoured with a stone of remembrance that was erected on the project site.