South African leads the charge in solar connectivity

In a world-first South African entrepreneur, Peter Graham, will launch a solar-powered connection centre in the Thusong Youth Centre in Alexandra Township next week.  The custom designed connection centre is an integrated, self-contained, mobile solar powered container which provided 100% off GRID power for multiple and simultaneous Internet user access, transforming township communities.

Some of the features and benefits of this social investment project include an educational upliftment, sustainable job creation whilst at the same time providing for the creation of monthly recurring revenue generated from the sale of products and services processed through the Easy Pay Kiosk (prepaid airtime, prepaid electricity, EFT’s), advertising, as well as from other facilities offered E.G. cell phone charging, photocopying, scanning and faxing.

“The idea behind the container is to provide low-cost access to services that will enhance residents’ lives.  Amongst other things, the centre will provide jobs, save on commuting costs and give access to the Internet and e-mail on an uncapped data supply line via fast and reliable satellite connectivity, explains Graham”.

As the Founder and CEO of Solar Charge, Graham ensured that a great deal of research went into the pricing of services by traditional suppliers, such as scanning and e-mailing, in order to ensure that they were able to provide a viable and cost-effective alternative.

When it comes to CSI initiatives, particularly those in the fields of health or education, the container is an ideal opportunity to reach those previously disadvantaged individuals who live in townships or rural areas.

“As the containers are pre-assembled and completely mobile, they can be installed and deployed at any location.  Some South African corporates who currently run educational CSI programmes have already expressed an interest in having containers designed to suit their own particular needs”, says Graham.  “When it comes to education, for example, the container is an ideal vehicle for providing access to material and content for students and teachers which can be streamed onto the monitors by proprietary electronic software”. 

The containers can be branded on the outside body of the containers.  In addition advertising content can be streamed onto the monitors thus allowing advertisers the opportunity to communicate directly to their target audience.

“As an entrepreneur myself, I am passionate about helping other fledgling entrepreneurs on the road to success – particularly given the high rate of unemployment in South Africa.  As the container is mobile, secure and self-sustaining, it will provide energy for up to fourteen hours a day to those most in need, including entrepreneurs who will benefit greatly from access to this technology”, states Graham.  “The container is in itself also a potential entrepreneurial venture, as they can be produced for people who would like to own their own business but have the details taken care of for them.”

Every container will have a highly-trained administrator who will be able to manage any problems that may arise.  Should there be a need; Solar Charge also has the necessary technicians on hand to ensure connectivity.

Management Software
Access to an administrative portable allows for the management and control of all revenue generated by product type in real time.

Various security features have been installed into the container, including theft-proof solar panels, sufficient battery power to last five days in the case of inclement weather, a cashless risk free trading environment, and a cash-in-transit provider to manage cash flow.

“We anticipate that the container will have a remarkable effect on the lives of Alexandra residents – so much so that we are nearing completion of a second container which will be located at a similar “Alexandra” site.  The fact that the container in its entirety is a local concept using local assembly, makes the project that much more rewarding”’ concludes Graham.