With South Africans taking their first steps to recovery from the economic implications brought on by the national lockdown, they are doing so with extreme caution.
The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a new culture of hygiene-awareness in the country - both through the regulations stipulated by the government, as well as citizens returning to life in the new world.
The foreseeable future will present two significant risk areas for those returning to work. Firstly, there is the public transport sector, which remains the primary method of commuting for the majority of the workforce. The second area will be the workplace itself.
While social distancing will limit contact, just think of how many objects that can potentially carry the virus, you will come into contact with during any given day.
Opening a taxi door or holding onto a grab rail on the bus; that's just before you get to work where you'll no doubt head straight to the coffee machine. How many people will be in your customer reception area per day? Keeping these areas sanitised will become a crucial part of any company's operations in the period that lies ahead.
Image: Water Efficient Technologies
Local company Water Efficient Technologies are, however, introducing solutions that will address these concerns and our water consumption while providing opportunities for economic empowerment. These involve Mobile Cleaning Units (MCU) and a range of environmentally-friendly Covid-19 eliminating products to sanitise all contact-areas on vehicles and in workspaces.
WET founder Gary Formato elaborates how the current environment created the need for these solutions: "The phrase 'New Normal' is being heard a lot lately, and an emphasis on hygiene will be crucial to the sustainability of it. While the government has announced comprehensive measures, there will be a demand from employees, commuters, and clients alike that any entity they're dealing with will also minimize risks of infection.
"While doing so, we can also reduce our water consumption, already a scarce resource throughout the continent. The economic situation will bring with it a wave of retrenchments which we can combat by making the tools available to allow those people affected to start their own companies in a service-sector that will be in demand."
The MCU, just bigger than the average industrial vacuum cleaner and developed by WET, comes with a high-pressure hose able to dispense the chemicals adequately, but without causing inconveniences such as slippery surfaces or damage to materials.
Given that Eskom has already indicated that rotational loadshedding will recommence with the gradual lifting of the lockdown, the MCU addresses this aspect as well. After only a short period connected to a power source, the MCU will be ready to operate at optimal pressure for an extensive period of the day. This also makes this a completely portable option and silent.
Image: Water Efficient Technologies
Sanitised in 30sec
With the high turnaround demands of the South African taxi industry, one vehicle's interior can be sanitised in approximately 30 seconds, accumulating to 250 vehicles on a single charge. With this being a mobile system, sanitation does not require a designated area, either. This will see the workforce still able to avoid extensive travel delays. An open-plan office can be rapidly sanitised after general daily cleaning resulting in less operational delays.
WET also offers an Enterprise Development opportunity, a Level 4 BBBEE contributor, utilises the investment made towards Enterprise Development by Generics, to set up independent sanitising and cleaning operators using the company's technology.
The WET Enterprise Development will also provide suitable candidates, recruited by WET, the opportunity to obtain the relevant business training, the necessary equipment, and the ongoing chemicals required, as well as the standard operating procedure training provided by WET.
The primary aim is to generate sustainable job creation and stimulate entrepreneurial vision for further business growth. WET will be integral in the management of each new enterprise, including providing mentoring, ongoing training, machine servicing, and product supply. This will also enable larger companies to accumulate points on their BBBEE scorecards towards the contribution and development of micro-enterprises.
With locally produced hardware and chemicals, this will positively influence both the manufacturing and service provider sectors as Formato continues: "Boosting our local economy will be of the utmost importance if we want to combat the economic effects of Covid-19. That means investing in our skills to keep the supply chain going.
"We are empowering entrepreneurs who are contributing towards a culture of South African companies spending their locally-earned money on services provided by South Africans utilizing products manufactured in South Africa."