While the informal sector manages to put bread on the table for many South Africans, there is a clear demand for more support for innovation and skills in the entrepreneurship sphere. REDISA (Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa) recognises the importance of entrepreneurship as an economic driver and poverty eradicator. It particularly recognises the opportunities which lie in the green economy, for all those who are able to create and identify sustainable solutions and reduce our carbon footprint in the world.
Mathe Group is a small KZN-based business registered with REDISA. The group was set up in 2010 by Vusumuzi Mathe, an entrepreneur who has worked extensively in the construction industry in Gauteng since 1985.
The company started manufacturing rubber crumb or granulate in late 2011, in limited quantities. In 2014 a joint venture was formed between Mathe Group and British investment group PFE International Inc.
Mathe Group began manufacturing small quantities of rubber granulate from used truck tyres in late 2011 and, in 2014, became an authorised recycler and processor of waste tyres with REDISA. This means that tyres disposed of through fitment centres are collected and transported to their premises at no cost to the company. Mathe Group has been supplying 100% recycled rubber crumb for the manufacturing of pure rubber acoustic carpet flooring underlays and acoustic cradles, which are used as under floor coverings to minimize noise between different levels in apartment and office blocks.
According to Dr. Mehran Zarrebini, the head of PFE International, “with our innovative methods and bespoke machinery, we are able to recycle 99% of the component materials in waste tyres. We are committed to creating a low environmental impact in our processing whilst ensuring that our clients are offered high quality and consistent products with enhanced value.”
In just under three years of operation, REDISA has made significant strides towards building a viable and sustainable waste management industry, focusing on tyre recycling. REDISA supports small business development and drives the local tyre recycling industry through infrastructure investment, business support and research on new applications for waste tyres. To date REDISA has put 80% of its revenue into supporting the circular economy, through investment back into industry and through creating a market for the handling of waste tyres.