On Saturday, 13 March 2021, the Ambassador of France to South Africa, Aurélien Lechevallier, attended the opening of PayGas’1st station in Gauteng, with the dedicated support of United Nations Foundation (Clean Cooking Alliance), AFROX (Linde Group) and PICK N PAY Market Stores.
The opening forms part of a response to the lack of access to affordable, clean, and efficient cooking which remains a major challenge for low-income populations in Africa.
Today, an estimated 21 million individuals in South Africa and 900 millions on the African continent are without access to energy for clean cooking. Furthermore, about 6 million are affected by household air pollution (HAP) from cooking with solid fuel.
The event highlights the convergence between the development of a new French technology and the response to the challenges of energy, social and economic inclusion.
Ambassador Lechevallier congratulated the start-up on its progress. “I am of course also particularly happy to see the rapid progress of this young Franco-South African company, which was awarded the Engie prize at the AfricArena summit two years ago. Since then, Paygas has already rolled out 4 pay-as-you-gas™ stations in the Western Cape servicing more than 40 000 low-income beneficiaries,” said Lechevallier.
Launched in 2019, PayGas works thanks to a patented pay-as-you-go software payment platform combined with a cashless refilling station, connected to a barcode on customers’ cylinders.
PayGas users located in Soweto can now purchase an electronic Flash at any tuckshop nearby, go to the Pay-as-you-gas™ station, and fill their cylinder, totally or partially, for as little as ZAR 10 (0.5 USD).
The plan is to roll out more than 50 Pay-as-you-gas™ stations within the next 2 years, with the aim of reaching 200.000 customers and creating 300 jobs for local entrepreneurs inside low-income communities.