Candle holders that will save lives this winter have been handed over to people in Macassar.
As an initiative of the University of Stellenbosch, 200 of these candle holders were handed out to the community, which was struck by tragedy a few months ago. Nine people, including six children, in Macassar were killed when a candle fell over and set their house alight.
This is one of the reasons that why the university, through Project Hope, decided to hand out these safe candle holders.
When a candle is knocked over, the flame often comes in direct contact with the molten wax and causes the fire to spread quickly. The safe candle holder, which is made from wire and steel plate, supports the candle and prevents the flame from making contact with molten wax when it topples over.
The Candle of Hope candle holder is the invention of Conrad Stoffberg. The former student of Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch designed and created it for the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists when he was only in grade nine.
“At that stage there were numerous articles published in the media about shacks burning down due to candles falling over,” Stoffberg said. “I saw an opportunity to make a candle holder that could address this problem.”
He further thanked Wikus van Niekerk, director of the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, for believing in his project. “Without his help the candle holder would have stayed just a school project from years ago,” he said.