Greenpeace’s Project Sunshine delivers in Diepsloot

Press release - September 8, 2017
Johannesburg, 8 September – After a successful crowdfunding campaign that exceeded the R100 000 target, Greenpeace Africa and the Philile Foundation’s commitment to install solar streetlights in Diepsloot will be met tomorrow when the solar streetlights are officially handed over to the community.

“Project Sunshine is an example of what the future could look like for those without access to energy. Our current electricity system reinforces inequality because it simply bypasses many communities across South Africa. Project Sunshine proves that it is possible to install off-grid solar streetlights or micro-grids that are powered by renewable energy, enabling energy access for those who need it most,” said Nhlanhla Sibisi, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.

The community of Diepsloot is one of the many energy impoverished areas in large metropolitans, where there is little to no access to the grid, and there are no immediate plans for electrification. This means that the people of Diepsloot have to contend with walking down dark streets at night, with no solution in sight. Despite being unable to get official permission from City Power for a larger scale project, Greenpeace Africa pushed ahead using Project Sunshine as a pilot and demonstration of how solar streetlights can work, and providing a model that local municipalities should look to implement in areas without electricity.

“If we look at the growing shared economy trends, resources are held in common, not owned privately. Energy should be the same, and a lack of access to electricity has a consistently negative impact on people’s well being. Clearly, Eskom’s monopoly and local government’s resistance to renewable energy is creating more barriers than opportunities,” Sibisi emphasised.

“Renewable energy can put the power back into people’s hands, and help create a brighter future. We call on municipalities across South Africa to seriously consider micro-grid options, and solar powered energy solutions because the transformation of the energy sector towards a more sustainable, equitable one is urgent. Diepsloot, with its high crime rate, will hopefully see a decline in criminal behaviour, making it a safer environment for those who live in the area around the streetlights” ended Sibisi.

Notes to the Editor:

The launch of the solar streetlights will happen at the Philile Creche in Diepsloot, Extension 12 on the 9th of September from 2pm - 4pm. If you would like to attend the launch event, please contact Lerato Ngakane on  or call 0826142676.