Melumzi Nontangana

Head of research and development, Waste department, Cape Town

Melumzi Nontangana believes in reincarnation. He also likes to use refuse dumps as landmarks when giving directions. It's a good combination for the head of research and development at Cape Town's waste department. He spends his days trying to find ways to create renewable energy from rubbish and how to change the lives of the poor and save the earth while he's at it. A tall order from trash. But renewable fuels, Nontangana says, have the power to change the planet, to stop wars and to give the poorest of the poor a decent life with electricity and the services they deserve. And you thought it was just a pile of rubbish. � Hendri Pelser

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