SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIALISED ENVIRONMENTAL SMME FOR WIND SECTOR

SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIALISED ENVIRONMENTAL SMME FOR WIND SECTOR

August 2021, Eastern Cape

A newly established environmental management service initiative, owned by a team of experienced local Kouga environmentalists, is receiving development and seed funding as well a training.

As part of its broader Socio-Economic Development Programme, Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has assisted with the set-up of Kouga Environmental Management (KEM).  KEM is founded and owned by three local bird and bat monitors, who have substantial experience in this specialist field of environmental management from within the Kouga area.  Now, with this additional funding, business management training as well as specialised skillset training, they have been able to establish their own enterprise, with plans underway to employ a team of local people.

“The development funding has meant that our company can meet the necessary requirements, to fulfil the Bird and Bat Monitoring contractual obligations, at Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.  This is in addition to taking on other contracts and projects at the wind farm, as we have received the necessary skills training and have been able to purchase the required equipment, with the funds provided,” said Mr. Bradwill Petersen, one of three KEM Directors.

He added, “We are now in a better position to seek additional contracts, especially landscaping as we have the necessary equipment and skills to do so. The mentorship and training has assisted us to manage and understand the business environment which is very new to us.”

As part of the bird and bat monitoring, on site at the wind farm, the team conduct carcass searching, along with regular scavenger and searcher efficiency trials, to ensure meticulous record keeping and data collection. Alien vegetation removal is also undertaken, when required.

KEM expects to employ more monitors, from within the local community, initially on a contract basis, but with plans to hire more staff permanently.

“We believe in developing our supplier chain so that they can employ locally, upskill and grow their businesses.  So although KEM is currently only working at our wind farm and one other, they are receiving the support and necessary development, to ensure that they can employ and expand to other locations within the area,” explained Marli van Rooy, Environmental Specialist at Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.

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