Repurposed Schoolbags #Nextgenindustrialists Thato Kgatlhanye & Rea Ngwanya,

Rethaka Trading (Pty) Ltd was founded in 2011 by Thato Kgatlhanye & Rea Ngwanya. Rethaka is the shortened version of the Setswana phrase: “Re dithaka”. This can be translated into the phrase: “we are associates”. The business specializes in green innovative solutions for social development. It is not a charity, but a purpose-driven business that does what is right, not what is easy.

Through the company’s green innovations, societal problems are turned into solutions. The business aims to uncover sustainable opportunities that create a far-reaching impact and give low-income communities a chance to capture value from waste, with a focus on education, children and women.

The first product is the repurpose schoolbag, which is made out of recycled plastic. The bag is fitted with a solar lamp which charges during the day while on the backs of school children. This provides a source of light which enables them to do their homework at night. The product is currently being sold to corporate entities for their corporate social investment initiatives. The business is currently negotiating with an established South African retailer to list the product in their stores across the country.


Funder: SAB Foundation


Thato kgatlhanye & Rea Ngwanya are some of the young entrepreneurs who will meet top government officials and other stakeholders at the SABS Design Institute in Groenkloof, Pretoria on 24 March for the start of the Next Generation Industrialist Fair.

Follow our twitter account, and our Instagram feed for real time updates during the event as well as the hashtag #NextGenIndustrialists