In 2010, Brian Sibusiso Mpono, a communications specialist at the time, got talking to a truck owner who made his own diesel from cooking oil.
He recognised Mpono’s potential and offered to help him get his own biodiesel business off the ground. Mpono took up the challenge, forming Khwezi Oils, a biodiesel plant that, in just five years, has pumped out half a million litres of biodiesel from waste cooking oil.
Every 1 000 litres of biodiesel used, protects the environment from three tonnes of carbon emissions, says Mpono.
Khwezi Oils isn’t just helping the planet, though, in its first year of trade, it generated R1.2 million in turnover, of which 30 percent was gross profit.
Mpono started out by supplying mainly the construction, trucking and logistics industries, but is now also involved in the development of renewable energy projects.
It wasn’t easy for a young black man to venture into a field dominated by white males over the age of 40. But Mpono, 32, persevered, sending bakkie brigades out daily to collect used cooking oil from households and industries.
“I was driven by the need to impact people’s lives, more specifically, over a million youth in South Africa and 1 billion on the continent of Africa,” he says.
Find Mpono on Twitter: @hisgrys