Sasol’s Chemcity project has almost R6 million in support from the Department of Science and Technology for its first year. This project, being undertaken with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (www.csir.co.za) as a partner, aims to establish a fruit and plant oil extraction beneficiation business in Tzaneen as well as a laboratory. The intention is to supply the cosmetic and health industries.

The Chemcity project will use waste streams from the production and processing of the following species in Limpopo:

  • Baobab seeds (Adansonia digitata)
  • Marula nut (Sclerocarya birreea)
  • Mobolo plum stone (Parinari curatellifolia)
  • Wild plum fruit (Ximenia)
  • Macadamia nut
  • Mango stone
  • Avocado
  • Papaya seed (Carica papaya)
  • Pumpkin seed
  • Kalahari melon seed
  • Num-num (Carissa bispinosa)
  • Natal plum (Carissa macrocarpa)
  • Kei apple (Dovyalis caffra)
  • Sausage tree (Kigelia Africana).

The demonstration centre to be established by this project aims to improve the standards of finished products in a new value chain centred on extracts from fruit and nut-bearing indigenous trees. When standard oil specifications can be maintained finished products will be marketed via a website.

With wealth creation, employment and economic beneficiation in mind, the demonstration centre will foster entrepreneurship and job creation. The centre will target rural communities to create employment opportunities and promote economic benefits. Seventeen people, five of them graduates, will be employed. Outsourcing will generate other job opportunities.