Water “vending machines” hydrate South African communities


Johannesburg entrepreneur Murendeni Mafumo has developed water “vending machines” to deliver purified water to communities at the cost of R 1 per liter.

With water “automatic distributors” already installed in Burgerfort and Giyani in Limpopo, Klarinet in Mpumalanga, Temba in Hammanskraal and Johannesburg, the Mafumo company has major plans to deploy twenty new units in 2022.

MyBroadband contacted Mafumo, who runs Kusini water, to find out more about the company and its projects.

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

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

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

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

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

“We also have a partnership with the Beverage Association for the construction of 20 social impact sites across the country. “

Kusini Water purification points use a filter composed of a mechanical nanofilter with a block of activated carbon in the center.

Overview of the Kusini Water purification process:
1. The water first passes through the Macadamia Nutshell activated carbon filter.
2. The water is further purified by a nanofiber membrane with Macadamia Nutshell 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 throughout its life. “

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

The submersible pump used to extract the 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 while working for the cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg.

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

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

The funding has 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 North West last week, ”Report said, citing Mafumo.

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


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