A model of the solar service stations planned for the rest of the country was revealed at Skukuza in the Kruger National Park (KNP) last week by Total South Africa.
The occasion celebrated 60 years of partnership with SANParks in the KNP.
As part of the celebrations, Total South Africa also handed over school uniforms to 60 pupils from Inkunzi Secondary School in Numbi Village.
During his address, MD and CEO of Total South Africa, Pierre-Yves Sachet, expressed the company’s commitment to the partnership and said the donations were part of several to stakeholders that contribute to the preservation of South Africa’s national parks.
“Total South Africa has, among others, joined the fight against rhino poaching by sponsoring approximately 100 000 litres of jet fuel per year for the SANParks airwing project, over a period of three years,” he said.
Other projects funded by the company are the annual National Parks Week, the Kudu Awards, the Keep Kruger Clean and Walk on the Wild Side projects.
Stanislas Mittelman, Total vice-president of marketing and services division in Africa, echoed Sachet’s sentiments about the partnership, and said they believe in long-term commitments like these.
In return, KNP managing executive Glenn Philips said the KNP is dependent on such partnerships to face all the challenges it encounters. “There is never going to be enough money for conservation,” he said. “With 80% of the needed funds to be generated by ourselves, we highly value contributions such as these by Total.”
Sachet further explained that the Total solarisation project comprises the installation of solar panels in 5 000 service stations around the world by the end of 2021. Of these 282 will be in South Africa. The programme should also reduce Total’s carbon emissions by 100 000 tons per year, and its electricity bill by $40 million per year.
“The project is fully aligned with Total’s ambition of becoming the responsible energy major and its commitment to developing solar power,” he said.
The filling station at Lower Sabie will be then next to be solarised. Solar panels servicing the filling stations in the park will be erected in the form of a carport and will provide the necessary power needed for lights and operating the pumps.