CAPE TOWN-- A South African scientist has patented an improved method to purify water for drinking purposes and it will be used in one of the first solar-powered desalination plants in Cape Town to deliver safe, clean water to low income communities.

Water scientist Murendeni Mafumo's dream is that everyone should have access to clean drinking water. Growing up in Limpopo Province, he recalls people walking for miles to fetch water from the nearest river.

When he started working with municipalities 10 years ago, an idea was born. Mafumo improved on an existing purification system with the use of nano fibres and macadamia nut shells. This system will now be used in a solar-powered desalination plant at the V&A Waterfront here.

A corporate partner will buy the water for redistribution to informal settlements for free.

For every single litre of water that anyone purchases from us we're able to give 20 litres for free through our systems in informal settlements and we've been doing this right now in Mpumalanga Province. We've been doing this in Limpopo and now in the Western Cape Province we are scaling it through the desalination plants, says the founder of Kusini Water, Murendeni Mafumo.

Mafumo believes his model of small, independent water purification systems is the future.

You will see this in the state of California, you would have seen this in Israel where more and more companies are having their own sources of water, more and more hotels and lodges are having their own sources of water and then that doesn't put a strain on the municipal system which puts a strain on communities that can't afford water. So I think this is the future where systems would be decentralised, smaller systems, and companies such as ours would be the ones providing this water in communities, adds Mafumo.

Expected to be operational by October at the V&A Waterfront, a major tourist attraction in cape Town which attractsan estimated 23 million of visitors a year. Another plant at Monwabisi, 30 kilometres away, will follow six months later.