Poor to reap big benefits from Port Elizabeth wind farm

THE plight of millions of poor South Africans is well illuminated by the MetroWind Van Stadens wind farm project, which will soon provide wind-generated electricity to up to 6,000 homes situated among bush and farmland, about 30km from Port Elizabeth.

Basil Read Energy, a subsidiary of the eponymous listed construction and engineering company, develops, finances, owns and operates wind, solar and hydro projects. It is a major shareholder in the R550m project, which includes three impoverished local communities, consisting of about 450 families, as 5% shareholders.

The community stake, in the form of dividends, will be worth about R40m over the wind farm’s 20-year life span. Assurer Old Mutual is a 35% stakeholder in the project, which is financed by various domestic banks…

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