A KWAZULU-Natal based water solutions company is ramping up innovation to address water challenges.
Inzalo Capital Holdings was founded last year by Sihle Ndlovu and Sbonelo Mazibuko.
The company is a holding entity for several companies that offer water meter services including device management, credit monitoring and collection.
It acquired a 60% stake in the Sebata Water Group, which included Utility Systems and Amanzi Meters.
It has recently acquired a further 55% stake in the Sebata Group of Software Companies, which is made up of Sebata Municipal Solutions, R-Data and MICROmega Accounting and Professional Services (MAPS).
Inzalo Utility Systems chief executive Sbonelo Mazibuko said they now had all the right credentials.
“We are now a Level 1 B-BBEE contributor, a Proudly South African manufacturer with 100% intellectual property. The only things that we buy externally are capacitors and transistors that you do not get in South Africa,” said Mazibuko.
Company executive chairperson Sihle: Ndlovu said that going into the future, they wanted to focus on data.
“Despite already being on smart-meters, we believe the information we have regarding consumption and clients can help municipalities on many levels. It is not only about the component we are selling but also the integration (information) because in future it will not only be about the meters.”
“To set ourselves apart from an international company exporting into the country, it will be us having local data”, said Ndlovu.
Other challenges municipalities faced was that they did not know where some of their meters were, which made pre-billing and/or post-billing services difficult.
Inzalo Utility Systems marketing director Thembekile Mabatle said it had been a market leader with innovation, assisting municipalities to make their systems efficient and profitable.
Mazibuko said they hoped to play a part in curbing conspicuous consumption of water as well as ensuring that municipalities received the revenue for the water services they supplied. Many municipalities faced the challenge of people not paying.
Mazibuko, an economist by profession, said the country lost millions of cubic litres of water and millions of rand between municipalities and water service providers throughout South Africa. The eThekwini Municipality recently said its non-revenue water losses were close to 50% through ageing infrastructure.
According to Mazibuko, this meant the municipality was worse off each month as they bought water, but lost half the water revenue and resources because of leaks and burst pipes.
Inzalo Utility Systems said when the City of Cape Town faced the threat of being the first major city in the world that could run out of water, it had used one of their products to avoid Day Zero.
Mazibuko said their solutions included a free-flow product that reflected data by measuring what came in and went out.
Its other functionality was flow control, which was not necessarily a punitive measure but allowed the city to limit water use in Cape Town by giving customers 200 litres a day or six kilolitres a month.
Inzalo was the first STS accredited device in the world, meaning that they produced a solution that had relevant certification to operate anywhere in the world.
Apart from Inzalo Utility Systems, the Inzalo Capital Group also include; Inzalo Amanzi Meters, which produces meters and meter boxes and Inzalo UMS, which implements and manages revenue enhancement and revenue protection services.