Engen Petroleum – in partnership with the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Bushbuckridge local municipality – has launched an Integrated Energy Centre (IeC) in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga.
This comes after the DoE gave a mandate to all major South African oil companies to contribute towards job creation and community development.
As part of its Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Plan, the government identified Integrated Energy Centres (IeC) as one of many economically sustainable solutions to address poverty nodal areas.
Significantly, the IeC in Bushbuckridge is not a profit centre for Engen. All profits from fuel and convenience sales will be put into a trust account run by three elected trustees, who will need to be approved by Engen, the DoE and the municipality.
These trustees, who represent the local community, will help identity relevant community upliftment projects, aimed at giving back to the people of Bushbuckridge. Projects may include upgrading schools, bursaries, clinic facilities, care centres, supporting small business and job creation.
“I sincerely appreciate the funding of approximately R18 million from Engen in setting up this facility. I also want to congratulate Engen in completing its first IeC project and encourage them to do more,” comments Jeff Radebe, minister of energy.
Located between Casteel and Acorn Hoek, the IeC operates as a service station offering fuel, diesel, paraffin and LPG gas, as well as a 24-hour convenience store, and FNB and Capitec ATMs. The centre also houses an Internet café, providing members of the community with complimentary access to 12 computers, printing and scanning facilities, and free Wi-Fi.
“During construction, 65 local people were employed for a variety of on-site jobs over a six-month period. On completion, 17 permanent positions were created, all of which have been filled from the local community,” says Engen MD and CEO, Yusa Hassan.
“We recognise that the success of many social interventions rests on the ongoing cooperation between Engen and government. With the support of our shareholders – Petronas and Phembani – Engen will continue to make a constructive contribution to ensuring security of supply in South Africa and the ongoing transformation of the industry,” concludes Hassan.