A journey from the construction of Scatec Solar’s Linde plant to the Company’s first Community Liaison Officer in Hanover, South Africa
What I love about my new job is that I now have an opportunity to bring change and hope in my community. I am eager to do my tasks, because I know I am doing it for my people
Vincent Elias, Community Liaison Officer, South Africa
Vincent Elias was born in Hanover, went to school in the Eastern Cape, but returned in 2008 to live with his mother and grandmother. Five years later, he was hired as a driver by one of Scatec Solar’s subcontractors for the construction of the 40 MW Linde solar plant. His job was to drive ramming trucks and mount solar panels. ‘’It was a great experience because I was doing this job for the first time,’’ he says. Later he was selected to operate a mini excavating and drilling machine.
‘’I enjoyed every moment and later became a lead installer of solar panels.’’ His team broke the record by installing 6,000 panels in one day. Vincent was hired to be the team leader for installing panels in Scatec Solar’s third facility, the 75 MW Dreunberg plant. He helped to train local workers from Burgersdorp nearby to safely, quickly and efficiently install solar panels. He takes great pride in his contribution to the construction of both the Linde and Dreunberg plants on schedule.
In September 2016, Scatec Solar offered him a job as a Community Liaison Officer (CLO). ‘’I was so excited to work for the main company. Till now I had worked only for the subcontractors. What I love about my new job is that I now have an opportunity to bring change and hope in my community. I am eager to do my tasks, because I know I am doing it for my people.’’ Vincent is involved in Scatec Solar’s local community development projects ranging from team building for youth through music and sports to transferring skills to local communities to make a variety of products from shoes to handicrafts.
Lately, his team has focused on the ongoing pandemic and Covid-19 relief programs for the local communities. The Hanover Sewing Cooperative (HSC) was appointed to manufacture 6500 face masks for the community. “The beneficiaries are the elderly people living with chronic illness, unemployed people, especially youth. We also supplied masks to schools as phase two of this project”, says Vincent. They have also been providing food for indigent families and assisted local schools in order to improve pass rates.
With over 7 years on the job, Vincent still has a strong passion for what he does “The Scatec Solar South-Africa Sustainability Team takes pride in what we do. We believe we are truly changemakers in our societies”, he finishes.