The Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm benefits the communities in the vicinity of the wind farm in multiple ways, including enterprise and socio-economic development that promotes access to the economy for local people, procurement and employment opportunities that plough financial resources into the local area as well as the establishment of a local community trust.
A percentage of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s operational revenue is spent on these programmes, which are designed and implemented in consultation with the local municipality, community members and business leaders, focusing on the local communities within a 50km radius of the wind farm.
Socio-economic development initiatives promote access to the economy for all people.
Six percentage of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm is owned by Amandla Omoya Trust which is significantly higher that the government’s minimum threshold of 2,5% local ownership.
The name of the trust literally translated means ‘the power of the wind’.
To finance its share of the cost of constructing the project, the trust secured a loan from the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA). The loan will be repaid through the shareholder dividends generated by the project and once repaid the trust will use its share of the dividends to benefit the local community.
During construction, Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm provided many employment opportunities. The number of jobs varied according to the stage of construction but in August 2013, at the peak of construction, there were 602 people working on site, of which 45% were from the local community. This is a reflection of the contractor’s commitment to employ as many people from the local community as possible. A local community liaison officer has been appointed to facilitate this process.
In addition, many indirect jobs were created or sustained at local manufacturers and suppliers through the wind farm and its contractor’s procurement of goods and services from the local community.
Now in operation, Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm employs eleven people to operate and maintain the wind farm.
These programmes will continue for the 20 year life of the project and will focus on local communities.