10 South African innovations and inventions we can be proud of

When we think of the origin of inventions and innovations, the first country that comes to mind is not necessarily our beautiful country. We all know that Dr Chris Barnard performed the world’s first heart transplant, but there are a number of inventions that we South Africans can be proud of. Of course, South Africans didn’t invent the first car or the first phone, but there were inventions and innovations that made life easier, helped save lives, and brought South Africa to life. on the map.


Sasol is the world’s first oil-to-gas company and was founded on the coast of South Africa. It is also the largest fuel producer in the country. It is based on processes that were first developed by German chemists and engineers.


A Mr. Robertson, originally from Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, invented Q20 lubricant as a necessary solution to common household problems such as moisture wicking. Q20 is an all-purpose lubricant spray owned by Triton-Leo Group (Pty) Ltd. You might have questions about his name, right? Well, according to Robertson, Q20 “has 20 answers to 20 questions”.

The CT scan

Axial computed tomography (CT scan), better known as computed tomography, was invented by Allan MacLeod Cormack. He shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with his associate Godfrey Hounsfield for his work on X-ray computed tomography.

Smartlock Safety Syringe

Still in the medical field, a team from Vaal University of Technology invented the smartlock safety syringe. This is a three-part, single-use syringe that will then be used to reduce HIV infection rates in South Africa.

Retinal cryosurgery

South Africans truly revolutionized the medical field when Dr Selig Percy Amoils unveiled the Amoils Cryo pencil at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. The Cryo Amoils Crayon is the world’s first surgical tool that uses nitrous oxide to destroy unwanted tissue and has been used to treat the eyes of Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela.


The dolos is one of the most underrated yet crucial inventions. The dolos is a concrete block weighing up to 20 tonnes with a complex geometric shape. It is used to protect the harbor walls from the force of ocean waves.

Pratley’s putty

South African engineer George Montague Pratley, with the help of chemist Frank Robinson, invented Pratley’s putty to hold electrical box components together. It was then transported aboard the Apollo 11 Eagle landing craft.

Computer ticket

Percy Tucker from Benoni in Gauteng founded our favorite place for ticket needs. Computicket is the world’s first computerized ticketing system.

Speed ​​gun

A speed gun is a device that measures the speed of cricket balls and was invented by Henri Johnson of Somerset West. It was used at the 1999 Cricket World Cup. Johnson also invented the Speedball which measured the speed and angle of objects.

The shark shield

Inventor Lindsay Lyon and former world surfing champion Tom Carroll invented the shark shield. This portable electronic device emits an electromagnetic field and is used in scuba diving, spearfishing, sea kayaking fishing and surfing, to repel sharks.


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