As South Africa faces one of the driest rainy seasons, declaring five of its nine provinces a drought disaster for agriculture, a business that has been operating for about 18 years is reaping the benefits from this deficit.
Pop up water kiosks or water bars are stalls in retail outlets that sell purified water at an affordable rate says John Oort, Managing Director of Mulbarton GoZone Services Industries.
“In the industry over the last two decades there has been quite a lot of development into the water bottling and refill sector – predominantly bottled water was the product that would be most sold in retailers around the country and that often has a very expensive price to that and that price tag,” said Oort.
Oort says the price tag comes a lot from the logistics involved in bottled water, what it has done is taken away the logistics and opened up in retail stores as refill sections where people don’t have to buy bottled water, they can refill their water at 90 cents a litre.
“We don’t really compete with Rand Water, the water that we take is from a municipal distribution point, it’s put through a process called reverse osmosis, with an added blending process,”
He adds: “The main focus of this is actually the water quality, as we know South Africa, up until a few years ago has had a much higher water quality than let’s say Europe or the rest of the world – and at this stage, it currently isn’t so anymore,”
With that in mind and complaints of high chlorine use and sometimes even of worms, they have prioritised the quality of the water they provide.
“They can actually come to those stores with either their own empty containers or they can buy a container at a very good price,” he said.
“We are trying to revert the business model back into supplying the highest quality water that can be purified and doing that at a reasonable, affordable price.”
South Africans can find some of these pop up water refill stations at Pick n Pay’s in Mulbarton, New Market, Brackenhurst and Heidelberg to name a few.