The lights and all other electrical appliances at the famed Robben Island prison-turned-museum will generate its power from the sun in the very near future, minister of tourism Derek Hanekom has announced.

Hanekom made the announcement during his department’s budget vote speech in parliament, Cape Town today.

“Robben Island as we speak depends entirely on diesel generated electricity. We will shift them completely from diesel generated electricity to solar generated electricity,” Hanekom said.

Robben Island’s switch to solar power will be part of a pilot project that the department will be running on botanical gardens, South African National Parks and world heritage sites during the minister’s current term of office.

“The exciting part of the retrofitting programme is that it contributes towards our countrywide effort to reduce the electricity demand and to start shifting towards efficient energy use and renewable energy use,” Hanekom said.

“It will also include some of our community-based projects, particularly those that don’t have immediate access to the grid,” he said.

This is all part of the Department of Tourism’s R180 million Tourism Incentive Programme, which was launched to advance the sector’s transformation, grow enterprises and develop new and existing tourism attractions around South Africa.

[Source – South African Government News Agency, image – Google Maps]