Dell adds healthcare services to solar-powered hub in Cape Town

Christopher Tredger
By Christopher Tredger, Portals editor
Johannesburg, 01 Nov 2023
Dell has added a healthcare clinic to its learning lab in Kensington, Cape Town.
Dell has added a healthcare clinic to its learning lab in Kensington, Cape Town.

Dell Technologies, in partnership with SHAWCO, has added a healthcare clinic to an existing learning lab in the Cape suburb of Kensington, and launched the revamped facility as the Kensington Solar Community Hub.

Originally built by Dell in 2014, the Kensington Solar Learning Lab, South Africa's first of its kind, focused on providing access to technology and education. There are currently 12 such hubs in the country. 

Now, the project is expanding beyond technology to include essential healthcare and other basic services alongside digital skills required for participation in the digital economy.  

Doug Woolley, MD of Dell Technologies South Africa, says the Kensington Solar Community Hub demonstrates the company's commitment to community growth. 

SHAWCO (Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation), is a student-run NGO based at the University of Cape Town. It operates mobile health clinics and wellness programmes, offering free medical consultations, health education and preventative care to the community.

Jackie Stewart, executive director of SHAWCO, sees the partnership with Dell as a potential model for positive change and a step towards closing social disparities in access to technology and resources.

Global  initiative with local impact

Dell has opened Solar Community Hubs in 47 locations across 13 countries, working with local partners to meet the unique needs of each community. 

Fast Company named Dell Technologies as 2023’s World Changing Company of the Year for its work to build digital inclusion through Solar Community Hubs.

Services available at the Kensington Solar Community Hub:

  • The community-managed health clinic features rooms for health screenings and other services, enabled by Dell solutions.
  • The hub offers International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) certification.
  • Training in Microsoft Office applications and coding is available.
  • Community members can attend summer school lectures broadcast from the University of Cape Town.
  • SHAWCO conducts Beyond Education Health Clinics and Violence Protection Programs at the clinic.
  • Future plans include the addition of rainwater collection.