The Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT), together with the Govan Mbeki Local Municipality (GMLM) have established the Govan Mbeki Fly Ash Incubator. The project is a joint effort and the dedt has already made available about R 4 500 000 as a contribution towards the Fly Ash Brick Manufacturing Incubator.
The Govan Mbeki Local Municipality has provided land through a lease agreement with SASOL, situated between Secunda and eMbalenhle.
Currently the project is in its infant stage and supplying about 26 pallets daily that contain about 250 bricks. While still fairly new in the market, the project has attracted Timber City, local private individuals and the Maseko Hardware as clients.
The Fly –Ash incubator is currently limited to supplying only the above mentioned clients due to its supply capabilities. However, with expected future investment, the project will grow to possibly supply government with bricks to build RDP houses and resultantly create more than the current 19 jobs.
In order to ensure transparency and good governance in the project (Fly-Ash), the municipality has earlier went out on public tender to secure youth participants within the project. The Govan Mbeki Fly Ash Consortium, a collaboration between five small businesses and cooperatives became the preferred implementers. Govan Mbeki Municipality has also been tasked to assign mentors to ensure that cooperative members learn and improve their managerial skills.
Fly Ash is an after product produced from burned coal during the generation of electricity. According to the feasibility study conducted to predict the viability of the project, it is estimated that about 90% of South Africa’s electricity is generated from coal, especially in areas such as Gert Sibande and the Nkangala District Municipalities. The study indicate that both SASOL and ESKOM are said to account for an estimated 20 million tons of Fly Ash annually.
Fly Ash can be used as an ingredient in the manufacturing of cement, fertilisers, bricks, polymers and detergents. Not only can Fly Ash be used for the above mentioned, but it can also be used in agricultural rehabilitation and environmental protection, for instance it can be used to treat acid mine drainage, remediation of acidic and impacted mining soils, manufacturing of compost or fertiliser.