Interesting inventions

The 2012 Boerepatente Kompetisie at the Nampo Harvest Day provided some answers with real commercial potential. Joe Spencer reports.

Interesting inventions
- Advertisement -

The Gemini Balans Waterpomp seemed to attract the most attention at this year’s Boerepatente Kompetisie. In fact, Johan Niewenhuis of Bainsvlei must have been quite hoarse by the end of the show after spending four days explaining the benefits of his invention. Its secret is the balanced action of twin cylinders working in the same borehole pipe, which means the unit uses considerably less power than a normal borehole pump.

Some other good ideas on display:
Pieter Swanepoel of Leeudoringstad won a first prize for a fertiliser wagon that can unload into a planter or fertiliser spreader in the land.

The Gemini Balans Waterpomp designed by Johan Niewenhuis.

- Advertisement -

Henco Crous from Klerksdorp won a first prize with an ingenious braai/kettle combination made from two old gas bottles. The kettle is heated by pipes that run through the braai fire.

Klerksdorp’s Gerrit Smith is a regular competitor at the competition. This year he won a prize for his multi-sharpener portable grindstone – a real boon when working with sheep in the land.

The Cowboy Slot gate lock from Tewie Wessels of Bultfontein comprises a very effective padlock that uses a hex or Allen key to lock the bolt in place. The Allen screw goes into a recess so that the bolt can’t be removed without first loosening the screw.

Botswana’s Bertus Goosen won first prize in the modified equipment category for a device that can catch and retrieve borehole pipes, while top honours in the machinery and implement category went to his cable catcher, which makes it possible to recover a borehole pump where part of the power cable is still attached. He also won second prize in the modified implement category for a simple device that fits on the three-point linkage of a tractor in order to push or pull out shrubs and small trees.

The borehole pipe retriever from Bertus Goosen.

Callie van der Westhuizen of Kakamas devised an ingenious one-man method for loading drums or barrels onto a trailer.

Smart ladies
Tanya Goosen of Botswana impressed with her butter churn powered by a cordless drill. It can also be used to mix large quantities of pancake batter. The bucket has a tap at the bottom to drain the pancake mix or buttermilk. Christa van der Westhuizen from Kakamas, meanwhile, won first and second prizes in the ladies household appliances class. Her Makataan Prikker is used to prick the skin of wild melons (makataan) in the jam-making process.

Showing the flag
This is the sneaky way to get your dop into Loftus! The PVC handle of the flag is sealed at the top, while the bottom has a removable stopper – another innovative invention from the Botswana-based Goosen clan, and one which won daughter Samantha a second prize in the class for young farmers.

Corrugated iron cleaner
The electrically powered Sinkdakskuurder from Martin Hollander of Wesselsbron simplifies the job of cleaning corrugated roofing for repainting. It won him second prize in the electrical equipment section.

Oil and water furnace
Hennie van der Westhuizen and Jaco Stols call their remarkable invention the Waterstof en Olie Vlam. Hydrogen is generated by the electrolysis of water and mixed with a jet of oil to produce a very hot flame. A small amount of LP gas is used to start the furnace, but the only real input is used engine oil. The unit can provide heat, through a heat exchanger, for all sorts of purposes such as heating poultry houses or providing hot water.