Reliance, the leading organic compost provider in the Western Cape, and shareholder in Okran 38, has received the green light for the R250 million Waste to Energy project at Corona Farm in the Paarl region.
All appeals against the project have been dismissed by authorities, giving the final go-ahead to the first of its kind project.
Not only will this project generate energy from organic waste, but it will directly and indirectly create over 1 000 jobs, save landfill space and carbon emissions, as well as see depleted agricultural soils being rebuilt to high humus soils.
The application has taken over three years and millions in investments to get to this stage, the final hurdle is to get the rezoning finalised.
Thereafter Corona farm will be divided into 11 units: one unit for the Waste to Energy project and 10 units for new sustainable organic farms, with the focus on ownership for young entrepreneurs, primarily from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
Three of these units have already been developed with plantings of table- and wine grapes, as well as citrus and a nursery. An additional two units are in the process of being planted.
Reliance has already started their in-house training process consisting of five new entrepreneurs and 10 interns.
The company has also combined efforts with Skills Fusion and the Department of Agriculture in training 15 new agriculture students over the next 12 months.
Mieke Willis, marketing manager for Reliance, states that the company’s mission is to grow greener generations, and it does this by getting involved in the community, through sponsorships, tree-planting projects and developing communal food gardens, and investing in the community.
As one of only a few South African carbon neutral businesses, Reliance produces 100% certified organic compost, and has had its composting technology approved as a greenhouse gas emission reduction method.
Over the years it has diverted over 15 million cubic metres of green material from landfill sites, preventing more than one million tons of carbon dioxide gas escaping into the atmosphere – a substantial contribution to reducing the impact caused by climate change.