Sandiswa Qayi is an entrepreneur and one of three co-founders of a business focused on conservation and energy efficiency.
AET AFRICA, an East London-based company established in 2012, is at the forefront of manufacturing and supplying clean technology products and components that “talk to the African condition”.
According to Qayi, export technologies are not designed for Africa’s unique environment, making them ineffective and expensive to maintain. Their slogan “conserve, renew and reuse” shows their commitment to sustainability, and Qayi is determined to keep it that way.
Qayi and her partners have been actively researching and developing energy efficiency products in an effort to cut operational costs for users. The award-winning Hotspot is one such product: launched in 2018, the retrofitted geyser sleeve provides faster, longer-lasting hot water and uses 27% less energy.
AET AFRICA is currently testing the Heat Raider, a pioneering product designed to harness heat waste emitted from cooling appliances such as refrigerators. The concept came from one of the business partners who was accidently burnt while repairing a fridge. AET AFRICA currently has six prototypes installed and expects to get their product to market by 2022.
Qayi grew up in a rural village without electricity, so energy conservation has always been a part of her life; she recalls placing basins of water in the sunshine to get hot water. For some, conservation is already a way of life, but we should all be thinking about it in terms of how we live, she believes. “The challenge is to maintain focus on conservation. We need to educate.”
“Conserve, renew and reuse.”