SA's top five inventions

2014-12-07 12:30

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Next time someone tries to make conversation by telling you that a South African invented the Kreepy Krauly or the dollos or the CAT scan, tell them you already know.

And then take charge of the conversation and ask them if they heard the latest – that 2014 was an excellent year overflowing with new South African inventions.


A low-cost networked fire detector and alert system designed for low-income housing that when installed (simply by nailing it to the wall), forms a network with the devices around it, allowing the community warning time to take action.

Payment Blade

The cheapest card payment device in history is mobile and acts as a smartphone as well. Designed, built and sold by South African tech firm Thumbzup. We like!

Shiza Manzi

An environmentally friendly biofuel-powered geyser that boils 24 litres of water in 12 minutes using a completely smoke-free system.

Repurpose Schoolbag

The Repurpose Schoolbag is a colourful, trendy backpack made entirely of recycled plastic bags, is completely reflective for pedestrian safety and has a solar panel with a light fitted into its lid that charges on the walk home.

USE-IT’s Compressed Earth Blocks

The USE-IT compressor takes building rubble and soil to create a brick that is stronger, cheaper and 10 times more thermally efficient than concrete blocks.

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