Posted: March 16, 2023
A Limpopo company, OilspillXcellence, will soon open a modern multi-million rand biotechnnological manufacturing plant that has been financially supported by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) as part of its Black Industrialists Programme.
The programme is part of government’s efforts to promote industrialisation, sustainable economic growth and transformation through the support of black-owned companies in the manufacturing sector.
The new state-of-the-art OilspillXcellence biotechnnological manufacturing plant, is located in the Zandrivierspoort area, in the Molemole Local Municipality, along the N1 towards Makhado, about 35km from Polokwane. The conspicuous facility was funded by the dtic to the tune of R51 million through its Black Industrialists Incentive Scheme, and one of its agencies, the Industrial Development Corporation.
According to the Managing Director of OilspillX, Mr Ishmael Semenya (54) the plant, which is nearing completion, will provide employment to more than 50 people when it is fully operational.
“We are grateful to the dtic for the support that they provided to us. This is the kind of assistance that will boost economic transformation by empowering black entrepreneurs to play a meaningful role in the economy of the country. We are now operating in one of the important sectors of the South African economy due to this support. The manufacturing plant is located in an area where not many people would expect to find a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, let alone a biotechnnological manufacturing facility,” says Semenya.
He adds that the plant will be using sawdust as raw material and take it through a biotechnnological process that will produce bioremediation packs which are used to remove toxic substances in hydrocarbon contaminated soil in order to improve its productivity. They will also be producing biodegreasers which will be in liquid form and will be used for decontaminating surfaces.
According to Semenya, the bulk of the products that his company will be producing in the new factory are presently being imported from overseas.
“Our products will be sold to high polluting institutions like mines, chemical and paint industries, petro chemicals companies, and state-owned enterprises such as Eskom and Transnet. We are fortunate in that we already have off-takers who have signed up for us to supply them with our products. The first batch of our products is expected to be dispatched to customers in June this year,” explains Semenya.
He says that the plant will have a broad positive economic impact as the sawdust, which will be the main raw material for the production of their products, will be sourced from timber farmers based in the Molemole Municipality and Tzaneen.
Semenya, who was born and bred in the Mokopane township of Mahwelereng, is a microbiologist by profession. He holds a Bachelor of Science and Honours degrees in Microbiology from the University of Limpopo. He worked as an Environmental Management Officer in Colorado, United States of America from 1996 to 1998 before establishing an environmental solutions company, EnviroXcellence Services, which he is still the director of.
“We are all about saving the environment from toxic pollutants. Our hazardous waste management work is what brought about OilspillXcellence as a company. The objective was to manufacture our own bio-products to contribute in protecting the environment by dealing with toxic substances that are detrimental to the environment and human beings,” says Semenya.
He refers to the Constitution of South Africa that guarantees the right to a clean and healthy environment for all. Section 24 of the Constitution provides for the protection of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations to ensure the health and well-being of individuals.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 394 1643
Mobile: 079 5083 457
WhatsApp: 074 2998 512
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti