Following three years of construction and disruptions, the Integrated Energy Centre was officially opened in the presence of the Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe on Friday, the 12th of April 2019.
The R19 million worth Engen energy centre and a filling station which has been in operation since November 2018 was handed over to the community of Ga-Josepha near Arthurseat along the R40 main road.
According to Engen CEO, Yusa Hassan, all the profits from the centre will be donated towards the development of this community and Bushbuckridge as a whole, “This centre has been donated by Engen for the people of Bushbuckridge, in particular, it is our sincere hope that the residents of Ga-Josepha village will be able to access and benefit from the affordable and safe energy that the sector would provide. I assure you that this energy centre will be operated on solid business principles from us which includes representation from the community.”
The minister said they are grateful for having created work opportunities for the community members through their good relationship with Engen. He said that as the Department of Energy, they have a good business relationship with Engen, and this will continue to be a great partnership because communities get to benefit out of this.
“Engen is very crucial because they are in line with the National Development Plan to create employment in our country, we believe that through this energy centre will be contributing towards uplifting the conditions of our people in this area and I want to appeal to the board of trustees to manage this project in a very sustainable manner,” Minister Radebe said.
17 people from the community were employed, and it was also said that the profits would be used to benefit projects from within the community, including bursaries and funding business opportunities for the youth;
“As the residents we are happy that we have found employment. Engen has committed itself to many more projects around this centre, and this is just the first one. To the Executive Mayor, the MEC for Finance and the Minister; we request that the trust be properly monitored to ensure that funds don’t disappear into thin air, and that the intended objectives of the trust be met, as expected,” Hannes Malibe, one of the community members and spokesperson for the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) said.