The Social Entrepreneurship Impact Lab™ has one purpose – to equip promising and driven social entrepreneurs with the tools, knowledge and confidence to scale their businesses and create real impact.
Murendeni Mafumo epitomises the next generation of conscious, impact-focused entrepreneurs. As the founder and owner of Kusini Water – a social enterprise with a firm focus on providing communities access to clean, safe and plentiful fresh water – Murendeni is a social entrepreneur that is passionate about creating lasting positive change.
More than 6 million people in South Africa lack access to clean, safe water and 1 out of 3 schools do not have access to clean drinking water and sanitation. This affects children between the ages of 6 – 18 years who are most at risk of sickness from waterborne diseases and the danger of unsafe sanitation. This is a problem that Murendeni is passionate about solving and why Kusini Water focuses a lot of energy on setting up sites at or near schools.
Murendeni and his team have installed multiple water filtration sites across South Africa including Muldersdrift, Cloetesville, Kayamandi, Kwa Thema, Hamaanskraal and Diepsloot. Kusini Water makes available over 3 million litres of clean drinking water per month to communities across the country. The team has also trained over 250 people on basic hygiene and sanitation through their Wash Programme.
Murendeni founded Kusini Water in response to the severe lack of access to clean potable water he had seen in many regions across the country, and especially in more rural and peri-urban settings. When he joined the Social Entrepreneurship Impact Lab™ in 2019, he was looking to scale his business and make greater inroads into communities where access to clean water is limited. Murendeni and his team spent several years developing a range of innovative water purification systems, including a purpose-built mobile, solar powered solution that repurposes macadamia nutshells and nanofiber and works with local farmers to use the offcuts from their macadamia shells to make carbon filtration systems. Their product range includes the Water Box, smart water dispensers, tanks and water kiosks.
The SEIL Support
In the past year Kusini Water has successfully secured partnerships and contracts with DHL, O.R Tambo Foundation, the US Embassy, and DuPont Chemicals. Their innovative sponsorship and 3rd party funding model has made it possible for the team to scale their reach and implement solutions at over 20 new sites across the country, including schools, clinics and even a night shelter. Despite COVID-19 impacting several of their sites, the business increased its turnover by 352% and created five new jobs in the past 18-months.
The Social Entrepreneurship Impact Lab™ recognised the potential of the business but noticed a lack of replicable and scalable systems upon programme entry. The focus was on assisting Murendeni and his team to put proper systems and processes in place, especially around project management, rollout and maintenance. Having more visible and replicable systems has ultimately freed Murendeni up to focus on strategic direction and less on operational issues, and the business was able to land contracts with Anglo American, DuPont Chemicals, and O.R Tambo Foundation amongst others. The future looks bright, with expansion across SA and into Africa likely to keep Murendeni and his team very busy over the next few years.