Phase 1: Waste to energy project for Umhlabuyalinga

The project will convert household, human and animal waste into electricity. Only 18.5% households have access to electricity in the area.

Photo of Thandiwe Mchunu
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Thandiwe Mchunu Group Pty Ltd (TMG)

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 10 - 50

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • South Africa

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

South Africa: Umhlabuyalingana Swaziland: Nsoko, Lavumisa


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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

This initiative is addressing waste management and electricity needs in Umhlabuyalingana. This project was targetted because electricity is really needed in these times and contributes significantly towards education and a safer living for the human.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

The solution will be: 1)to have the contract with Umkhanyakude District Municipality for waste collection in the district. 2) to receive funding from department of energy to install the distribution lines to the community 3) to produce 1000kWh/day, for the plant, offices, local schools, clinics and the community.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

To date: Research and feasibility studies have been done for Umhlabuyalingana area. Social: 1) The community will gain off-grid electricity that will be sustainable. 2) New local jobs will be created which will improve the lifestyle of residents especially women and school kids. 3)They will be able to save time collecting wood in the forest. 4) They will be able to purchase necessary appliances i.e stoves, fridges etc and charge their mobile phones in the comfort of their homes instead of lining up at the shop in town. Environmental: Waste management and Sanitation Household waste will no longer be burnt freely by each household, but it will be collected from each household to the waste plant. Based on 1kg of waste is equivalent to 1kWh electricity; the 50,000 households, 21 schools, clinics, and hospital will have sustainable electricity from +/- 164,000 human's, animal and household waste.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Finance: The project needs 100% grant (Capex) and government partnership (buyer). Since it is a right to have electricity, the municipality will have a contract with our company to supply electricity and solely collect waste within the district . Residents and small businesses will procure from the municipality. Future: There will be an addition of desalination process to provide safe drinking water (government contract will be in place) and farming, to increase the growing of organic vegetables; so that needed food is accessible at affordable prices for everyone. i.e 1 garlic costs about USD1.00, instead of USD0.2c. These high costs of core vegetables increase illnesses to the poor. These phases will also benefit our neighbours, Swaziland and Mozambique in future.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

This project is innovative and different from other projects as we will be able to be sustainable after the initial grant for capex and will grow to supply nearby countries. The waste to electricity phase and its future phases will cover: Electricity, waste management, rural development, water, gender equity, food security, education, job creation, youth development, intra-Africa collaboration, sustainability of government and company unity in service delivery.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Coming from the rural area of Amahlongwa and having gained experience at Sasol and Unisa, I have been exposed to various sizes of processes. It is the knowledge gained that has sparked me to change Umhlabuyalingana; as it still very much behind with essential resources. The fact that Sasol converted a rural area into this multibillion company operating nationally, meant that Umhlabuyalingana can be the next powerhouse for green energy and other projects linked to it. I then started negotiating land with various chiefs in South Africa and we had a combined "Aha" moment (the chiefs have land but lack knowledge and I have knowldge but lack land ). I also met with delegates from Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Botswana, Egypt during Africa Union Commission workshop and saw much greater need for the growth of this project in other countries within Africa. So yeah, Africa needs this initiative

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Upon recommendation from others


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