Langa Sangoni, Riversands entrepreneur behind Apple Green Environmental, has secured R38-million in grant funding to establish a formal road and water infrastructure to reach the village of Qokolweni in the Eastern Cape, near Mthatha. The grant is from the dti’s critical infrastructure programme and the road is the first step in establishing an ambitious waste-to-energy plant in partnership with Nciba Grain Group, which will use energy from the plant to mill its maize.
“We foresee that the waste plant will create 35 jobs in this rural area. The impact of those jobs on the families living there cannot be overestimated – the development will serve a neglected part of the country,” says Sangoni.
The total cost of the waste-to-energy plant is budgeted at R54-million, and the IDC is on board for 60% of that amount. Since the plant will produce marine-grade diesel and qualifies as a manufacturing plant, Sangoni is confident of raising the additional 40% from the Black Industrialists.
The company contracted to install the diesel-producing machinery is using the Qokolweni site as a pilot because – as we all know only too well – there is too much waste plastic on the planet.
Sangoni’s message about funding is clear: “It takes time to get everything lined up according to funders’ criteria. I would strongly advise entrepreneurs to have an income stream while waiting for the go-ahead on ambitious plans.”
Apple Green’s mission is to reduce clients’ carbon footprint by sorting and recycling waste, waste disposal and environmental training.