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Westinghouse Connects South African Child Care Center To The Grid

Westinghouse signed an agreement with Sprinkle vzw to support a South African rural child care center close to the Drakensberg Ukhahlamba National Park. Westinghouse is providing the necessary funding to connect the child care center to the national electricity grid, operated by Eskom, as well as to cover the costs of the monthly power consumption.

When Westinghouse staff learned about this project, they immediately realized its value for SouthAfrica and especially for the most vulnerable, the orphans diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). Previously this child care center operated without any connection to the electricity grid. It relied on a power generator for warm water and to prepare meals. With the help of Westinghouse, the child care center building will be connected to the power grid and the children will enjoy the same comforts that people often take for granted.

The agreement was signed in February in Johannesburg with the Sprinkle Trust that manages the child care center’s affairs in South Africa. The agreement marks the continuation of Westinghouse’s commitment to the SouthAfrican community through its local offices in Cape Town and Centurion.

Westinghouse has been active in South Africa's nuclear industry, mainly through support to the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, since the 1990s, and is at the origin of the nuclear fleet technology in SouthAfrica – its two reactors are Westinghouse licensed. Westinghouse’s main localization drive started in 2007 when it acquired IST Nuclear (Pty) Ltd, now operating as Westinghouse Electric SouthAfrica (Pty) Ltd. From offices in Cape Town and Centurion, Westinghouse supports Eskom’s Koeberg facilities, Necsa, other local nuclear industry partners and projects in China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“This important agreement with the Sprinkle Trust not only reaffirms our pledge to support local organizations and uplift communities such as this worthy cause, but our commitment to develop and support the South African nuclear industry,” said François Harari, Westinghouse vice president and managing director for France, Benelux and South Africa. “Westinghouse will continue to utilize its global skills and resources in upcoming projects to further develop the expertise required for an eventual nuclear build project in South Africa. Supplier and community development is critical to Westinghouse and that’s why we think globally but act locally.”

“We’re very pleased with Westinghouse’s involvement,” said Patience Buthelezi, facility manager of the child care center close to Bergville, Kwazulu-Natal. “Electricity is a very important enabler for our community and the children of the child care center will surely appreciate that their lives have been enlightened and warmed by this gesture from Westinghouse.”

Westinghouse in Belgium and South Africa also signed an agreement with Necsa and the Sebata Group to investigate and cooperate in the development of local engineering and fabrication capabilities for nuclear applications. Westinghouse remains committed to playing an active role in the electricity generation in South Africa, building on its localization efforts through a network of industrial partners, some of which may become partners in the global supply chain for the AP1000® nuclear power plant fleet.