Water vending machines keep South African communities hydrated

Johannesburg entrepreneur Murendeni Mafumo has developed water vending machines to provide purified water to communities at a price of R1 per litre.

With water vending machines already installed in Burgerfort and Giyani in Limpopo, Klarinet in Mpumalanga, Temba in Hammanskraal and Johannesburg, Mafumo’s company has big plans to roll out twenty new units in 2022.

MyBroadband contacted Mafumo, who runs Kusini Water, to learn more about the company and its projects.

“Our water vending machines are helping to bring clean water closer to homes in densely populated areas within SADC [Southern African Development Community]“, said Mafumo.

According to Mafumo, their 20 new water ATMs will be deployed in these areas:

  • Maseru in Lesotho
  • Vhembe in Limpopo
  • Escort in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Gauteng
  • Zimbabwe
  • Zambia

Mafumo also outlined the company’s plans for the next three years.

“With the new funding received, we will try to cover the whole SADC region in 3 years,” he said.

“We also have a partnership with the Beverage Association to build 20 social impact sites across the country.”

Kusini Water purification points use a filter consisting of a mechanical nano-filter with an activated carbon block in the center.

Overview of the Kusini Water purification process:
1. The water first passes through the Macadamia Nutshell activated carbon filter
2. Water is further purified by nanofiber membrane with macadamia nut filter
3. Water purification systems are monitored and controlled using the Kusini Smart Meter

“This means it physically separates particles from your water by trapping them inside the membrane,” the company’s website says.

“Because our filter uses a mechanical filtration process, the filter remains safe for the life of the filter.”

The activated carbon block is made from locally sourced macadamia nut shells to absorb chemicals like chlorine and pesticides.

The submersible pump used to extract groundwater is powered by solar energy, and after filtration through the macadamia nut carbon block, the water is filtered a second time through the nanofiber membrane.

Kusini’s filtration process removes all particles larger than 0.01 microns from the water. This includes E. coli, bacteria and dissolved solids.

Mafumo has a degree in chemistry and gained experience in water purification working for the cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg.

“My background is in research and development and wastewater treatment”, Mafumo Recount Report.

The funding Mafumo mentioned came from the Vumela Fund, a joint initiative of FNB Business and consulting firm Edge Growth.

The funding helped it expand to all South African provinces except the Northern Cape.

“Most of our water points are in Gauteng around Hammanskraal, Diepsloot and Tembisa. We only started two new points in the Free State and the Northwest last week,” Mafumo said as quoted by Report.

“These ‘ATMs’ are something that can provide income to the community. We found that people are willing to pay for something like drinking water if they are sure of continuity of service. »

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