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Nelson Mandela pledge
1 February 1997
With President Nelson Mandela's vow to bring solar power to one million residents, South Africa is becoming a significant market for an American maker of small wind turbines, Southwest Windpower of Flagstaff, Arizona. More than half of South Africa's 45 million population is without electricity. Since 1995, Southwest Windpower has sold around 150-200 turbines to the post-apartheid nation, says co-owner Andy Kruse. Indeed the company's largest single sale of its 300 watt machines was to South Africa's police force, to power its communications system, he says. Many others are being sold as battery chargers for sail boats -- and to power homes in poor townships. Southwest Windpower has also sold about 50 to neighbouring Namibia and was on course to have sold some 4500 small wind turbines worldwide by the end of 1996.
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