Johannesburg, South Africa: Royal Philips (AEX: PHI, NYSE: PHG); is continuing its programme of installing more than a hundred “Community Light Centers” across Africa with the announcement of six new centres in South Africa.
CEO of Philips, Mr Frans van Houten was recently in Cape Town to co-chair the World Economic Forum. During his visit Mr van Houten met with the South African Minister of Energy Ms Dipuo Peters, in order to conclude an agreement that sees Philips donating two Community Light Centres to the South African Department of Energy. The two Centres will be allocated to communities that would benefit from the Solar LED lighting. These would usually be rural communities lacking access to electricity. The meeting took place in the Cape Town suburb, Walmer Estate, where an additional Community Light Centre has been erected by Philips at a local football club.
In addition to these three centres, Philips, in partnership with SuperSport Let’s Play and Hitachi Construction Machinery Southern Africa Co, has recently completed projects at Dumisa Public School near Ladysmith, Lebowa Kgomo in Mpumalanga and in Gauteng at the Lion Park Primary School.
The Light Centres are areas of approximately 1000m2, or the size of a small soccer pitch and are lit using a new generation of efficient solar powered LED lighting. The Light Centres create areas of light for rural communities which live without electricity, thus effectively ‘extending the day and extending play’ creating numerous opportunities for social, sporting and economic activities in the evening. Philips has committed an investment of €1.2 million (spread over three years) to this project.
The Light Centres are predominantly focused on schools which are closely linked to rural areas and towns in off-grid or semi-grid areas. They provide light for communal areas which can be used for sport and many other activities - healthcare, education, social, and commerce - and extend the day by enabling communal life after dark.
“Africa is starting a new reliable solar powered LED lighting revolution which will both save energy and provide more light for those without electricity” says Mr Andre Dehmel GM Philips Lighting Africa. “Dramatic advances are being made in the efficiency of LED lighting and this is going to speed up social and economic development across the continent.”
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