Thuthuka Mbatha





Greenheart Energy
Who does this innovation help?

Those living in remote or rural areas.

About the Innovator

Thuthuka grew up in Soweto, and moved to KZN in 2003. She met her mentor Mike Eyre (from the UK) about 7 years ago, which was when they came up with the concept of the SolaPac. Thuthuka's passion and ambition in life is to make a differences in peoples lives, especially women living in rural areas.

How the Innovation Works

The SolaPac system uses an innovative and sustainable approach to provide clean, sustainable, low cost energy, while at the same time filtering water to support areas where these resources are not readily available.

Innovation picture

An interview with the Innovator


What problem/s are you trying to address with your innovation?

To provide grid quality renewable energy power and (World Health Organisation) quality water to rural communities using the Solapac, shipped straight to site and ready to operate in just a few hours. The SolaPac adopts an innovative and sustainable approach to solving the challenges of providing clean, sustainable, low cost and dependable energy where energy is not readily available to deliver ‘grid-quality’ energy and filtered water to remote areas and can be integrated into existing electricity systems.


What has been the toughest challenge/s to overcome in your innovation journey?

Obtaining funding and opportunities to showcase the product and its brilliance.


Where do you see yourself and your innovation in 5 years’ time?

Biggest lesson so far is the importance of finding strategic partners.


What has been the biggest lesson so far?

I see the Solapac being utilised by rural communities across Africa, offering Utility Power ie lighting, refrigeration, charging and medical facilities. I envision the Solapac providing rural communities with robust power to support remote development ie food production, workshops and agriculture. I catch sight of the Solapac providing rural communities with Multi source water purification and pumping ie drinking water and food production. I see rural communities with communication ie LAN, wifi, Internet and commerce using the Solapac. That is my vision for the Solpac in 5 years time.

Advice from the Innovator

Believe in your product and never give up.

About the Supporting Organisations Involved and Approach to Galvanising Support

We have received support from a number of organisations, namely the dti - Solapac was a finalist for the Cleantech SME Accelerator and we won a cash prize. The Energy Institute (UK) is also another organisation that has supported the Solapac, we were the winner of the Environmental Award 2017.

They have certified the product - approved Ref: ETH/EOI/2017/02.

They have recommended the Solapac for various government renewable energy products.

They have assisting us with building a demo unit which has been installed along the gautrain station in Sandton