Balezi Trading set out to design a new litter picker product to be used by roadside cleaners to pick up papers, cans and organic litter with little or no hand contact. The product enables users to retrieve litter from hard-to-reach areas, and pick up unhygienic waste without fear of infection, eliminating accidental glass cuts and avoiding snake bites. Some of the product challenges included: It was a fairly complex mechanism thus production and assembly complexity resulted in high manufacturing cost; Ergonomics – the product was not comfortable and easy to use; and the metal tube made the product heavy and unpleasant to carry for prolonged periods.
Seda and SABS Design Institute provided support to the business on its product refinement: The mechanism was redesigned to reduce the number of components without sacrificing function. The heavy Metal tube was replaced by plastic to reduce the weight of the product. Production costs are now far less than with the original design. eThekweni Municipality has given a letter of intent, and Durban University of Technology has also placed an order. The Small Enterprise Funding Agency (Sefa) has approved a multi-million Rand loan and Seda has linked Balezi Trading with Seda Agricultural Mining and Tooling Incubator (SAMTI) to investigate mass production of the Litter Picker.