5 of 17: Kuyasa - Khayelitsha's own Sunshine State

In our fifth article in a series of 17 Sustainable Ideas for COP17, Dinika Govender explores the potential benefits which may overlap, when embarking on large scale community based renewable projects. The Kuyasa Energy Efficiency Project is one of those, which, while at some cost, is benefiting 2,300 homes, addressing environmental concerns and promoting skills and job creation. While negotiations around a Green Climate fund seem to be stalling, pro-active cities would be encouragedd to engage with agencies, locally and aboard to leverage financing for projects of this nature.

by Dinika Govender

“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone. It’s not warm when she’s away…”

These are lyrics that the City of Cape Town seems to hope its citizens never have to sing during infamously cold, damp winter months and paraffin-powered nights. In October 2008 the City celebrated the completion of the Kuyasa Energy Efficiency Project- an initiative developed by the NGO, SouthSouthNorth* in line with Cape Town’s Energy and Climate Change Strategy- to fit almost 2300 homes with solar water-heaters (SWH’s). The project simultaneously addresses environmental concerns, low-income service delivery, job creation, skills development and socio-economic improvement.

It’s not just another bright-spark either; this project is a first for the City, and for South Africa, on numerous levels:

  • It’s Africa’s first Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) registered by the UNFCCC Executive Board
  • The world’s first Gold Standard project to be registered under the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.

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Changing face of transport in Kuyasa Transport Interchange

by Rouen Smit

In 2009 the then South African Railway Commuter Corporation, now PRASA, in partnership with the City of Cape Town opened two new train stations in Khayelitsha Through the Presidential Urban Renewal Programme, they extended the Khayelitsha line by 4.2km. Watch a video about this here (WMV)

With this, the City also commissioned MEYER+VORSTER to conduct an urban design study around the station and the possibility of a Kuyasa Transport Interchange, that could act as a catalyst for future intensive urban developments in the area. It might also be interesting to point out that the two new stations are not found on Google Maps. 

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