Alternative Energy for IEP Entrepreneurs

South Africa’s energy crisis or load shedding, is an ongoing period of widespread national electrical blackouts.

Many businesses, even those that have been running for years, have been impacted significantly. From loss in productivity, and equipment being damaged, to an array of monumental financial losses. The effects of load shedding have taken a toll not only on the business owners and their employees but especially on the South African Economy as a whole, thus, making it hard for businesses to grow and thrive in our country. 

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) works with many organisations within the Western Cape. The Department’s vision is a Western Cape that has a vibrant, innovative, and sustainable economy, characterised by economic growth and employment.

The RLabs Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program (IEP) provides support, advisory services, resources, mentorship, and incubation for women and youth-led South African businesses from marginalised communities across Cape Town. DEDAT has been a supporting partner of IEP for the past three years, which has allowed us as an organisation to enable exponentially more local entrepreneurs, since our partnership’s genesis in 2021.

Recognizing the negative impact load shedding has had on SMMEs within our country, DEDAT started the Alternative Energy Support Programme that further supports eligible SMMEs by providing them with mobile inverters for their business. 22 IEP Entrepreneurs were graciously selected by DEDAT to receive NAVA Solar inverters to help them keep their businesses running, lowering the effects of load shedding on the productivity of their businesses.

Many hours of down-time within a small, growing business can lead to it having to close, and there are many such cases within our local communities. These businesses are the bread and butter for many families, so it becomes imperative that we support them in this way.

The inverters not only provide electrical power for their businesses but safeguards the income and their livelihoods and that of their families. We are grateful to The Department of Economic Development and Tourism for enriching and uplifting our entrepreneurs journey’s and businesses as a whole.

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