- Ntokozo Mabaso is currently doing his Master's in Analytical Chemistry at the Durban University of Technology.
- He started manufacturing sanitiser from his garage when he saw the shortage caused by the pandemic.
- Mabaso approached the university after its Department of Biotechnology stopped manufacturing the sanitisers.
A curiosity about how to make sanitisers, which was brought on by a shortage at the height of the pandemic, led Durban University of Technology master’s student Ntokozo Mabaso to manufacturing and supplying the university with sanitisers.
The university had initially been sourcing its sanitisers from its Department of Biotechnology, and when they stopped producing them, Mabaso approached his research supervisor with his formula to produce them.
"When the pandemic started at the beginning of last year, I was curious about the hand sanitisers when I heard there was a shortage in the country because people were stocking up. My dad is a huge science person, so we sat together and formulated it. We started in our garage, formulated the stuff and got it tested through DUT," said Mabaso.
In 2014, he graduated with a BTech in Analytical Chemistry and, in 2018, after struggling to find work, he founded Nuffsaid Sciences (Pty) Ltd, a company that specialises in consulting, operates as a mobile laboratory and does product testing, among other things. In addition, Mabaso and his father started manufacturing household cleaning products and sanitisers from the garage of his home in Glenmore, Durban.
The university provides Mabaso with the material and ingredients, and he manufactures and packages the product.
"Since DUT wanted a larger scale, then we agreed on creating a mini-production reactor with a production capacity of 200 litres. It has been an interesting journey, especially after realising that our formulations meet the standard of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The sanitiser is very effective as it contains 70-75% ethanol,"he said.
Since starting production about a month ago, Mabaso has manufactured and supplied the university with about 800 litres, and has set a target of 3 000 litres.
He hopes to expand his business, continue with product development, and bring mobile laboratories to high school pupils.
"I have done a couple of mobile labs where I go to schools, and I do physics science demonstrations for the matrics so they can see them physically," he said.