Pretoria — The Energy Department and PetroSA have launched an Integrated Energy Centre (IeC) in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape.
The centre is a one-stop shop offering services of energy goods. The IeC will house an information centre, a convenience store, car wash, an energy shop, ablution facilities and a fuels forecourt. Petrol, diesel, paraffin and LPG gas will be sold at the centre.
"For years Mbizana residents have had to travel minimum distances of 15km to nearby towns to purchase every-day commodities like electricity, petrol and other energy necessities. The centre also marks the first time that PetroSA will have a fully-branded presence," said the national oil company PetroSA on Monday.
The centre, which cost R10.8 million to construct, will be owned by a registered cooperative made up from the local community and will plough back part of the profit from the IeC towards growing the business and job creation.
Once fully operational, 15 people will be employed.
"IeCs are not just about the integration of energy services. Rather they are primarily about integration and cooperation among the three tiers and structures of government, for improved delivery of energy services to the poorest of the poor," said Energy Minister Dipuo Peters.
The opening of the IeC was a significant milestone for PetroSA.
"The centre is a showcase of our commitment to corporate social responsibility. I am sure that there are important lessons that PetroSA will take from this experience that will stand us in good stead for similar ventures, PetroSA group CEO Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo said.
Chairman of the Mbizana IeC Cooperative, Zwelihle Moya, said the community was committed to ensuring that the venture was a success.