3 Inspiring South African innovators

South Africa is filled with dreamers and innovators who are working to make the world a better place to live in. We profile 3 South Africans whose work is making a difference.

Elon Musk

The South African born inventor became a sensation in 2013 after he announced his plans to create a solar-powered, city-to-city elevated transit system that could take passengers and cars from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes – a trip which usually takes 7 hours by car.

Musk has also been credited for a number of innovations in the past two decades. In 1999 he invented a method of securely transferring money using a recipient’s e-mail address. In 2004, Elon Musk cofounded Tesla Motors, of which he is the sole product architect. Tesla Motors builds sustainable electric vehicles.

Sir Stuart Ntlhati

Stuart Ntlhati’s impoverished childhood in the North West never stopped him from being great. At 13 years old, he invented the world’s first recycled microwave-griller combo. Since then he has invented a number of utensils, some of his patented inventions include a battery-operated shoe polisher with changeable colour cartridges and a 14-in-1 microwave.

To pay it forward, at 26 years old Ntlhati opened the Stuart Ntlathi Science, Engineering and Technology (SNSET) Institute for high school kids in Klerksdorp to inspire and educate more pupils on the beauty of maths and science. The programme, which has produced an actuary and a number of engineers, offers training programmes to more than 30 000 pupils.

In 2015 his goal is to establish an Infinity Park, “a launching pad for science-based business and academic development in Africa”.

Thato Kgatlanyo

Thato Kgantlanyo’s social enterprise has shown that you can turn waste into something of worth.

After seeing school children carrying plastics bags and using them as school bags, she had a lightbulb moment and now manufactures school bags from waste plastic bags for school children.

Source: Wikipedia, City Press, Amaphiko

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