Kuyasa is a low-income housing settlement in Khayelitsha, Cape Town which consists of 30m2 housing units that were subsidised through a government development programme. In July 2002, a demonstration phase of a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project began. 10 household beneficiaries in existing houses were chosen by the community to have their houses retrofitted with solar water heaters (including showers, hot taps and drains), ceilings, ceiling insulation and energy efficient lighting. The community participation was facilitated and mobilised through information and capacity building workshops and communication with community representatives. Local people have also been trained to implement and maintain the technologies fitted.
The project activities will result in a noteworthy reduction of CO2 emissions over a 21-year period. It will furthermore contribute toward health and energy cost benefits to the beneficiary household. Additional benefits includes an improvement in the ambient temperature of the house, thereby reducing the need for paraffin stoves and other heat sources which hold negative respiratory health impacts and fire-related dangers. The project has received international recognition through its validation as a gold-standard clean development mechanism project. The gold standard is given to projects contributing to sustainable development and is awarded by international non-governmental organisations.
Kuyasa is the first South African project to be considered for validation by government (through the Designated National Authority) and is likely to be the first African CDM project considered by the UNFCCC Executive Management Board. The next phase of this project is expected to begin shortly. It will involve further retrofitting of other RDP houses in the area and training of communities in the use of the new the technologies.