As the Fourth Industrial Revolution engulfs the world and takes control of our lives, an Eastern Cape businesswoman, Ms Sandiswa Qayi, believes it is imperative to embrace the revolution and use it to our advantage in order to create jobs for the young people in particular.

Qayi is the Managing Director of AET Africa, a multi award-winning company which manufactures high quality energy efficiency and clean technology products. The company is one of those that are owned by Black Industrialists and located in the Dimbaza Industrial Park near King William’s Town.

The company was formed in 2012 and since then AET AFRICA has been able to conduct research, paying particular attention on how to conserve, reuse and improve water heating mechanisms that consider the African climate and socioeconomic environment.

Qayi received financial assistance valued at R6.8 million from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) through the Technology Venture Capital Programme to commercialise her energy-efficiency innovation called Hotspot. The scheme provided business support and seed capital for the commercialisation of innovative products, processes and technologies. One of its objectives was to increase the number of economically productive companies in South Africa, and thus contribute to economic growth and international competitiveness through innovation and technological advancement.

More than 38 small, medium and micro enterprises have been supported through the scheme since its inception in 2014 to the tune of R160m. In an effort to extend innovation support to grassroots innovations the scheme has been revamped and relaunched as the Khoebo Innovation Promotion Programme (KIPP) at the National Innovation Summit that took place virtually recently.

“Hotspot is a product that can be retrofitted on any conventional geyser ensuring 27% energy saving without switching on and off. For those who switch geyser on and off Hotspot guarantee faster hot water within 30 minutes.  The hotspot is retrofitted to the geyser spiral element, both horizontal and vertical installations using thermosiphon. With the hotspot in your geyser you can get 50 litres of water, at 50 degrees Celsius in 30 minutes. The gadget also allows you to determine the amount of water that you want to heat in your geyser,” says Qayi.

She adds that the commercialisation of the Hotspot product with the assistance of the dtic funding has enabled her company to set up a factory at the Dimbaza Industrial Park and to provide employment to 10 young people.

“The product has been received well in the market & still gaining momentum. We are currently targeting residential and commercial users where people already have geysers installed but need to save electricity. We are also looking at opportunities to export the product to other countries. To this end, the dtic has also assisted us to participate in international trade missions to Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique where we are hoping to find a market for our products. Finding an export market will have positive impact on our company as we will need to increase production to service the new market and this means that we can be able to employ more people,” says Qayi.


The Managing Director of AET Africa, Ms Sandiswa Qayi showing the innovative Hotspot gadget

The Managing Director of AET Africa, Ms Sandiswa Qayi with Ms Lazola Makhetha, the Laboratory Technician and Quality Assurance Officer next to the industrial chiller machine funded through the dtic’s technology innovation programme.

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade,  Industry and Industry (the dtic)
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti

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