The Department of Health is working with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to conduct a feasibility study on the rollout of solar panels in critical areas in health facilities.
According to a statement released by the department on Monday, the move is part of the energy mix to mitigate the impact of load shedding and overstraining backup generators in hospitals.
This comes after the Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, announced government’s plan to shield public health facilities from the devastating power outages.
“The Department of Health is on the right track with efforts to ensure the priority hospitals are excluded from load shedding as part of plans to minimise the disruptions on the provision of essential health services during power outages,” the statement read.
The department and Eskom have since implemented the long-awaited exemption of North West hospitals, which include Taung Hospital and Ganyesa Hospital, pushing the total number of exempted health institutions from 72 to 77.
“This is a work in progress, and the inclusion of North West hospitals is part of the commitment made by Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla that no province will be left behind,” the department said.
“Although, due to technical challenges, some health facilities will take time to be exempted.”
The department said it will keep the public abreast of the progress made regarding hospital exclusions around the country.