Called the Tshwane Food and Energy Centre, this greenfield development is sited on 200 of 2 600 hectares zoned for agriculture.
Beyond the average Black Economic Empowerment concept to aid upliftment, this project aims to provide an integrated solution to food security and production, energy supply, economic stimulation and job creation, says Dorah Nteo, strategic executive director of city sustainability for the City of Tshwane. “It goes strides further by emphasising and embracing sustainable green practices,” she adds, noting the supply of renewable energy.
In positioning the city to be the leading green capital of South Africa, Tshwane mayor Kogsientso Ramakgopa prioritised his vision with the establishment of Nteo’s sustainability unit. The Tshwane Food and Energy Centre satisfies the city’s mandate comprehensively and forms part of the city’s concept of a ‘green-belt’ of industries, agricultural beneficiation and green settlements to the east of the capital.
Twenty-five displaced farming families from the adjacent townships will be provided with a plot on which to live and farm.
The plot comes complete with a family dwelling, including rainwater harvesting tank, solar water heater and bio-septic tank, a greenhouse produce area, chickens and chicken shacks, and electricity generated from a solar PV installation and biogas digester. Nteo believes releasing the residents from the grid is crucial, “so they are freed from the burden of paying for these services”.