Thato Kgatlhanye and Rea Ngwane had absolutely no idea what they wanted to make or do when they registered their company at first. All they had in mind was to grow a business that would also help the planet and the community.
Four years later, their dream became a reality. By inventing a way to turn plastic bags into school backpacks into sources of light for children to use for reading and studying after dark and a way to be somewhat safer when walking home after school, they have achieved something to be proud of.
These recycled plastic bags have a small solar panel inserted into them when they are remade into school bags which they call the Repurpose Schoolbags. This charges during the walk to school and becomes ready when dark falls. With many of the roads available to them being dangerous for pedestrians children are forced to share it with vehicles, animals and other potential causes of menace.
By inventing what they have, Kgatlhanye and Ngwane have provided another way to reuse plastic bags which otherwise simply litter the countryside and, at the same time, provide some of their countrymen with a way to make a living.
The ladies hoped by the end of 2015 to have grown their staff to 20 from the 15 currently employed. Their motto is extremely simple. “Do more with less”.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.