OV&P motored off to visit a mine site located in the Free State in a small town called Virginia. Whilst travelling, I was reminded again of how vast our country is. Continuous landscapes of sunflower and maize plantations, contrasted by isolated windmill pumps and cattle as well as veld and green bush, created a ‘portfolio of photographs’ in my mind. This is something we can often and easily forget or miss when based in a busy province such as Gauteng.
The emphasis of our trip was to film and photograph a renewable energy project commissioned by Tetra4, whereby gas is extracted from the ground in a non-invasive manner and then marketed. As a result of this project, Tetra4 has been creating and adding significant economic improvements for the community in Virginia, especially since the closing off of a number of gold mine shafts. So far, the conversion from diesel to gas has been commissioned on various vehicles as well as equipment at numerous Tetra4 sites, creating a positive impact on the environment.
The local community has been benefitting in terms of job creation, development of a school of approximately 100 pupils, bursaries, and a general “feel good” sense for the people. In the photo below, the children are playing on their merry-go-round, which was originally built as an ingenious way to pump water from a bore hole. This has subsequently been replaced by the submersible pump system in the foreground, providing water for the community.
It was a pleasure to also interview two of Tetra4’s bursary students, who shared with us why they are so passionate about the company and this project, what they have learnt and how it has contributed to their lives, coming from an underprivileged community.
Thank you to Tetra4 for arranging our stay at Willa Lala Guest House. Such a lovely home setting nestled in the heart of Virginia. And a special thank you to Willa Lala for their decadent breakfast on-the-go-pack for our early morning shoot. Waking way before dawn can be challenging but is always worth the exceptional photography and videography that golden hour offers. We look forward to our next visit to capture the next phase and content of this project for Tetra4. In the meantime, sincere congrats to them on the progress and value they have already achieved and provided.