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The HDA, along with the NDHS hosted the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Rasmus Helveg Petersen, on 2 September at Joe Slovo in Cape Town, a project of the N2 Gateway Project.

Also present was the Director-General of the NDHS, Thabane Zulu; the Danish ambassador, René Dinesen; the Danish delegation; the HoD of the Western Cape Provincial Human Settlements Department, Thando Mguli; various service providers working on the Joe Slovo project, and of course the NDHS and the HDA staff.

The visit was about strengthening collaboration between Denmark and South Africa, with the focus of the Joe Slovo visit being specifically on it new solar water heaters – a project sponsored by the Danish government.

The tour started with a warm welcome to the Danish delegation by Mr Zulu. This was then followed by an in-depth overview of the energy efficiency interventions and their influence on the sustainability of the Joe Slovo housing project by Annie Orgill, of the NDHS. “I think what we achieved here is remarkable,” said Orgill, referring to the fact that in spite of land availability challenges the architects, project managers and engineers managed to build energy-efficient housing that appears like social housing.

Lessons on how to deliver sustainable housing can be learnt from this project.

This was followed by a comprehensive demonstration on how the 100-litre solar water-heater operates and how it benefits beneficiaries. It [the solar water-heater] reduces electricity consumption considerably (it saves up to 100kWh a month, i.e. a cost of approximately R100 a month), has good built-in safety features and is manufactured locally. The solar water heater heats water up to 58 degrees in summer, and beneficiaries use this water for various purposes such as washing, cleaning and cooking.

Guided by Bosco Khoza HDA Cape Town regional manager) and Bruce Malagas (HDA Cape Town project manager), the delegation proceeded with a walkabout through the completed sections of the precinct. Mr Veliswa Tuswa, a resident in the Precinct, was delighted when the Danish Minister visited his home.

“I’m pleased about this visit,” said Tuswa. “The solar water heater is helping me and my family, and I hope it will benefit other residents as well.”