As the City of Cape Town brought further water restrictions into effect on Wednesday (1 June), a city councillor has revealed that her office has so far received 17 enquiries and proposals from entrepreneurs looking to offer water-saving solutions to the city.
In an emailed response on Friday to an enquiry from Ventureburn, Councillor Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for informal settlements, waste and water services and energy, said however that the city is not at liberty to share their personal information.
“We are currently looking into all of these proposals,” she added.
Ventureburn understands however that one of the enquiries is from 25-year-old Grant Vanderwagen who has developed an idea to harvest water from fog. He last week told Ventureburn that he was directed by the city to complete a form and email this to the city.
At least one business incubator — Stellenbosch University’s LaunchLab — is supporting entrepreneurs developing water-saving ideas. This follows a pitching challenge last month in which winning ideas from four startups were chosen to get free support from the incubator.
Limberg said the city doesn’t currently provide any funding to any incubator to develop a startup’s water-saving solution further into a working prototype.
She added that incubators and accelerators do not fall within the city’s ambit but that the city does encourage solution-driven entrepreneurs to approach the Department of Trade and Industry, the SABS Design Institute, and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) for support.