This morning, Minister Winde visited the Green Planet Laundry, in Airport Industria to view their water saving setup, which allows the business to wash tonnes of laundry every day without using any municipal water.
The business, which has been in operation for about seven months, makes use of two boreholes as a water source. The water is filtered and purified using ozone which is a natural disinfectant, and bleach. It has never used municipal water in its operations. Green Planet also uses the most water and energy efficient washing machines available on the market, and recycles about 98% of its water.
As consumers and companies have moved towards becoming more water-wise during the drought, the Green Planet laundry has become busier, securing contracts with major hotel groups, who are also looking to reduce their water footprint.
The company is also exploring ways to become more energy efficient, and will soon install solar panels to power the water filtration and purification system which the company fondly refers to as its spaceship.
Minister Winde said businesses which have been innovative and resilient from early on in the drought are becoming more competitive because firstly, their costs have been reduced because they are not paying more for water, and secondly, because being water wise gives them a marketing edge with customers who want to do the right thing.
Managing director of Green Planet, Tony Soares said he relished the idea of being termed a disruptor.
We are disrupting the market by being sustainable, he said.
The laundry originally launched with 16 staff members last year, but with new major contracts rolling in, they expanded quickly, and currently employ more than 50 people. Soares said the company policy was to only employ people who are unemployed when they apply for the job.
Minister Winde said we've been trying to drive home the message among Western Cape residents that saving water can save jobs. Here we are seeing how saving water is actually creating jobs.
We've had some good rains but it is still early days and the drought is far from broken. If everyone continues to play their part and save water, and businesses adapt and become more resilient to the effects of climate change, we will be able to ensure continued water supply for everyone, and continued economic growth for the province, Minister Winde said.
Source: Government of South Africa