The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is the sixth-largest city in South Africa. One of its main challenges is to reduce insecurity and help people coexist better. To achieve this, it has taken a gamble: to bet on... light. And not just any light! Since 2012, it has been running an LED street lighting programme in the townships. Not only does it help make neighbourhoods safer by reducing areas of darkness, it also saves money. LEDs require less maintenance and last 15 times longer than sodium lights. In addition, their lighting is five times more powerful, while at the same time reducing energy consumption by 50%.
"The EDF Pulse Awards have served as a real accelerator for the project."
Mpilo Mbambisa - Nelson Mandela Bay City Councillor
This pioneering project went far beyond South Africa's borders, winning the EDF Pulse Awards in 2014 in the "Access to Electricity" category, in a tie with the Indian TERI Project. And that was just the beginning of a luminous story, as Mpilo Mbambisa, city councillor of Nelson Mandela Bay recounted: "Since then, light poles have been installed and will soon be equipped to provide internet access in the townships. The other nice surprise of this award is that it allowed us to meet TERI, with whom we are now partners in a biomass gasifier project.” Before adding, emotionally: “This award could not have come at a better time for us, as our country is celebrating twenty years of democracy".
Mpilo Mbambisa, Nelson Mandela Bay City Councillor and project initiator.