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ESKOM WESSA Energy and Sustainability Programme

The Eskom Energy and Sustainability Programme is a partnership programme between Eskom and WESSA that provides education for sustainable development, and supports Active Learning Sustainability Projects for young people.

Each of these projects is a stand-alone project, in which regional co-ordinators from the Energy and Sustainability (E&S) Programme provide guidance and assistance to educators. Over 149 000 students are involved in these projects throughout South Africa. The Eskom WESSA E&S Programme is in its 18th year of supporting educators, learners and communities in the promotion of a sustainable lifestyle through contextual energy learning. In recent years, the programme has focused on a number of Programme Sections, many of which specifically address adult learning and support, thereby contributing to community development.

The programme is nationally implemented with regional coordinators supporting schools and communities in the following areas:

Western Cape (Cape Town; Mossel Bay regions; Vredendal regions; Atlantis regions) 
Southern Cape (George; Plettenberg Bay) 
Eastern Cape (East London; Queenstown; all areas of rural Transkei) 
KZN (Durban; Ixopo; Pietermaritzburg; Ladysmith regions; Drakensberg regions) 
Free State (all regions in FS) 
Mpumalanga Highveld (Witbank regions; Middelburg regions; Steelpoort regions; Balfour regions; Standerton regions) 
Mpumalanga Lowveld (Nelspriut and White River; 
Limpopo (Lephalale regions) 
Gauteng (Johannesburg; Soweto; Alexandria)

In recent years, the programme has undertaken support in a number of Programme Sections, many of which are specifically focussed on adult learning and support and which contribute to community development. The eight sections of the E&S programme are detailed in the diagram below.


Section 1 – Active Learning Projects
The oldest section of the programme, Active Learning Projects support groups of young people to identify contextual environmental issues, research, plan, take action, monitor and evaluate their projects. It is this section which produces many of our eta award entries -  and it is this section which assists the programme for strong visibility and for national and international award submissions. 

Section 2 – Educator Workshops 
Energy misinformation is always a challenge and particularly in schools and with educators. This section assists educators to understand energy issues. The workshops, given in 5 specific provinces also support educators to understand the energy components which relate to their teaching curriculums. The 5 specific provinces are KZN; Eastern Cape; Free State; Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

Section 3 – Strategic Areas 
These are areas which are close to ESKOM builds and new-builds, and are designed to support communities and schools and contribute to supporting an ESKOM presence in these regions. The strategic areas are Mpumalanga Highveld (5 strategic regions); KZN escarpment (2 strategic regions); Limpopo (1 strategic region); and Western Cape (3 strategic regions). 5 schools in each of the strategic regions are supported making a total of 55 schools.

Section 4 – Educator Accredited Training 
This section supports educators at E&S schools to obtain additional credits for their professional development and is designed to broaden the environmental perspectives to their teaching and to supporting energy learning programmes at their schools.

Section 5 – Entrepreneurial projects 
This section is small in comparison with other E&S support, but contributes towards community development with SMME development.

Section 6 – Edible Plant Networks 
One of our well supported initiatives, the Edible Plant Networks assist the programme to make the leap from school to community by establishing large-scale school and community food gardens. There are 10 EPN’s situated nation-wide and consist of a community greenhouse/shade-house for plant propagation; vegetable beds and orchards.

Section 7 – Climate Change courses 
The climate change course is a three day course given to young adults who are about to enter the workplace. The course material offers instruction in the science of climate change, but, more importantly, focuses on the environmental impact which each person makes each day in their work tasks and in their homes. The course brings the learner toward understanding that many of these impacts can be reduced.

Section 8 – Rural School Development 
The ESKOM DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION has made one-off donations to many rural schools in the past. This section supports these schools on a regular basis offering curriculum support and other environmental assistance. The E&S programme therefore “holds” the ESKOM and WESSA presence at these schools through additional support.


Project contact details
Avril Wilkinson, Senior Project Manager
Tel 036-637-5616 / 083-455-6043


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