Press releases

Ceiling-in-a-Can provides a platform to grow business in community

02 June 2017

Mangosuthu University of Technology leverage a product to empower youth

An innovative application, called Ceiling in a Can, that is fire retardant, waterproof, lightweight and requires no supporting framework, has secured the Enactus Team from the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) a place in the finals of the Barloworld Social Innovation Youth Awards (BSIYA) to be held on Wednesday, 12 July 2017. The product is to be distributed   at half the price of a similar product currently being sold to disadvantaged communities.

The Enactus (MUT) team identified an innovative solution to improve the standard of living and quality of life of youth and their communities in the KwaZulu-Natal.

The DIY product, sold in two 5-litre canned polymers that consists of chemicals that when mixed together, create a ceiling panel and was developed to reduce the rate of fire incidents in rural areas and in informal settlements.  The two cans can cover a room of 20 x1 square meters, and also offers protective insulation from heat and cold.

The Enactus MUT team will identify 5 unemployed youth in the Cato Manor and Umlazi community to create awareness for the product. They will be provided with training to manufacture and install the product in their community.

Furthermore, the Human Settlement and Infrastructure Cluster of the eThekwini Local Municipality has for 2016/2017 constructed approximately 180,000 RDP homes and is currently in the process of delivering these houses in the rural areas. A further 25,000 units are planned to be erected in the eThekwini region.

“We believe this poses an additional market for the youth to engage with and our team is already engaging with the Municipality to gain access to these communities,” says Enactus MUT Team Leader, Asanda Hadebe.

The team further plans to expand to other hardware stores and have identified a Hardware Store in Montclair (Durban), where the product will be distributed from as a pilot to measure the demand.

“We believe in initiatives like these that have the potential to contribute significantly towards solving the challenges facing many of our communities. The BSIYA offers our budding entrepreneurs an opportunity not only to promote their ideas but to develop them through support and funding.

“Barloworld seeks to be a catalyst for change and to contribute to the empowerment and transformation initiatives that will ensure the sustainability of our broader society,” says Executive of Corporate Affairs at Barloworld, Sibani Mngomezulu.

Enactus South Africa is a platform that brings tertiary students, academic advisors and business leaders together to improve socio-economic conditions in South African communities.

“We hope that programmes like this will foster interest in entrepreneurship and encourage young people to improve lives and strengthen communities, through responsible leadership,” concludes Mngomezulu.