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Tsepho portable power stations – a sustainable and reliable lighting source for Cape informal settlements

By National Development Agency

A Vrygrond youth-led enterprise, Mosebe Enterprise (ME), is switching on lights, plugs and lives through their portable power stations solution. Their pilot flagship power station “Tsepho – The Power of Hope” is an innovative 10Ah solar charge energy solution that targets informal settlement households who would otherwise utilise unsafe power methods, candles and illegal connections, that often lead to settlement fires - and those at the mercy of constant and pro-longed power outages and cable theft.


Fuelled by a desire to make an impactful change, three young entrepreneurs - Vincent Mosebe (Founder, CEO); Leandro Antonio (Marketing Director) and Donovan Pedzai (Chief Operations Officer), set out to revolutionalise the energy sector and use recycled materials to create the power stations for underserved and rural communities in the Western Cape and beyond.  The trio are exhibiting alongside other start-ups, SMMEs, investors and policy makers at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress+Africa, a gathering of entrepreneurs and leaders from 43 African countries.


“Through organisations like the Sozo Foundation, which we fund to implement development entrepreneurial programmes for youth not-in-education-employment-or-training (NEET), the National Development Agency (NDA) extended the invitation to 23 entrepreneurs to afford them a linkage opportunity to showcase their businesses, network and participate as delegates at the Conference.


“Our power stations address safety and electrification problems experienced by those residing in informal settlements. Currently, statistics report that an average of 10 shacks catch fire per day in South Africa. We have first-hand experience and have lost personal belongings and community lives to shack fires, having grown up in Vrygrond. Tsepho offers a sustainable, affordable, reliable and eco-friendly power solution that has features including multiple USB ports, a powerful lithium-ion battery with solar compatibility and 1 12v LED light bulb. Tsepho is not just a device; it's a catalyst for change – a beacon of hope that will bring about a brighter sustainable future” says Vincent Mosebe.


These entrepreneurs have leveraged personal funds to scale production and conduct on-the-ground research and their immediate plans include expanding production capacity, extend reach to new communities and foster more collaborations for future social impact and export.


The power stations range also includes a bigger version 2 Tsepho with similar capabilities including an additional feature of a bug-repellent UV light that exterminates insects and bugs (pest control). “With this power station, we are targeting campers and the caravan community who need extended power. Our next goal is to extend the products further into African countries that struggle with Malaria cases.


Additionally, there are two more ranges with extended power capabilities to power up a single power socket that can power up a fridge or microwave. The largest, version 3, packs up a 20.8Ah battery and a 300W inverter offering increased power capacity. This would be a good tool for students – they can charge laptops and keep WIFI going during outages, promoting a consistent learning experience.


“The starter pack retails from R1 500 without the solar panel, we also offer warranty up to a year for the technical faults,” concludes Mosebe.


Caption – Mosebe Enterprise lights up at the GEC+Africa with National Development Agency Board Chair, Mrs Ruth Bhengu. Minister Stella Ndabeni of Small Business also visited the stand with her delegation


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