Murendeni Mafumo, founder of Kusini Water. Photo: Luke Daniel / Red Bull Content Pool
  • A water engineer has designed solar-powered water purification devices for indigent communities.
  • He supplies the devices to these communities for free, thanks to the profits he makes from his commercial water venture.


While working as a water engineer for City of Cape Town and then Johannesburg Water, Murendeni Mafumo spent long hours thinking how he could make the water system better, especially for poorer communities.

Two years ago, he resigned from his job and started working on his own solar-powered water purification devices.

He tested them out with great success at schools and in communities, and then raised R1 million with the help of The Innovation Hub and the Red Bull Amaphiko programme to develop the devices.

To create a sustainable source of income for this venture, he started his own company, Kusini Water, which sells water, including bottled water and garden tank refills, to people living in the suburbs.

Instead of continuously asking people to donate money to his social cause, he’d much rather sell the people a product to fund it, Mafumo tells Business Insider South Africa.

With the income from Kusini, he is able to manufacture the solar powered water purification devices which he supplies to indigent communities.

The devices help indigent communities gain access to clean water. Photo: Twitter

The water bottles and refills can be bought at any one of Kusini's three stores in Braamfontein, Bryanston and Fourways. A single 500ml bottle of water costs R7 and customers pay R1 per litre for a refill.

“For R1 a litre we can also fill up your JoJo tank,” he says. 

Kusini Water has had stalls at the Afropunk Festival and was the official water supplier at this year’s Oppikoppi.

Photo: Twitter

Thanks to Kusini's success, he has been able to supply free devices to seven communities in Gauteng and one in Shayandima, Limpopo.

Kusini Water at this year's Oppikoppi. Photo: Twitter.

At the end of October, Mafumo will be launching Kusini Water in Cape Town. 

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: