Green Youth Indaba creates new prospects for Sibusiso who produces oil, petrol, and gas from recyclable materials
By Xolisile Dlou
After not being able to finish his studies because of financial difficulties, Sibusiso Shabangu, 30, of Sibange Village in Nkomazi Municipality, decided to experiment with plastic to make plastic paving blocks but instead produced biofuel out of saturated oil, diesel, petrol, jet fuel, electricity, and gas.
Shabangu was one of the individuals who received an invitation to exhibit in the Green Youth Indaba 2022, the Indaba invited inventors, innovators, green entrepreneurs, green start-up companies, small green businesses, universities, students, science councils, and technology transfer offices to showcase their green technology businesses and green ideas.
Shabangu got the chance to show off his work and exchange ideas with experts in the green economy, and he was one of the fortunate individuals to be absorbed by the Climate Innovation Centre South Africa (CICSA) programme which aims to provide business development support to start-ups in the South African green economy in collaboration with the World Bank’s InfoDey, and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)’s green fund. The programme is under The Innovation Hub.
He stated that he had been looking for such an opportunity since the year 2019 but had not been successful until he received an invitation to the 7th Annual Green Youth Indaba. “I was so happy to be invited and be part of such a summit where I was in one room with different MEC and General Bantu Holomisa,” he said. He continued by saying that it was his dream come true, but he was also filled with many questions. Why him? “Is this the chance that will help me, or is it just an invitation? But I had to go for greater exposure, and I knew that I might run into a possible stakeholder who will help the initiative flourish and be implemented,” he stated.
When asked how he thinks the programme will benefit his business or innovation he said “the programme will help SMS to be implemented at Sibange Village, get compliances, manufacturing license, sabs testing of the product, market access, create a business network, get potential investors locally and internationally, and hoping to be the first or second young black-owned manufacturing of fuel and generation of electricity in South Africa.”
He added that he is thankful for the chance because his road has been filled with so many obstacles. “The journey has so many disappointments from the government sector and private sector though it was a lesson that through every success story there are disappointments, tears, and corrector.”
He concluded by saying “The important lesson I learned is to be humble and comply.
To comply is a challenge when you have no funds and getting proper assistance is a stumbling block for a start-up project especially if it is owned by youth and unemployed. Since some of the information, it becomes hard to get because of the sector of the business that is starting,” he stated.