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  • Writer's pictureAisha Playton


7 Revolutionary proudly South African Inventions

When contemplating how to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day this year, our team thought it only fitting to shine a spotlight on the remarkable inventions that have emerged from the vibrant landscape of South Africa and it's talented and brilliant citizens. From pioneering medical breakthroughs to discovering ingenious engineering marvels, South African inventors have left an indelible mark on the global stage, enriching lives and shaping industries worldwide. Here at De Beer Attorneys, we take immense pride in showcasing the extraordinary contributions of our nation's innovators. Join us as we pay homage to some of South Africa's most iconic inventions, each a testament to the power of creativity and the spirit of innovation.

Christiaan Barnard: The Architect of Hope

In the hallowed halls of Groote Schuur Hospital, a pioneering spirit dared to defy the limits of medical science. Christiaan Barnard's heterotopic heart transplant stands as a beacon of hope for countless patients facing the dire prognosis of heart failure. By ingeniously implanting a donor heart alongside the recipient's failing one, Barnard opened new frontiers in cardiac surgery, extending lifelines and rewriting the narrative of what was once deemed impossible.

Allan Cormack and Godfrey Hounsfield: Illuminating Insights

In the realm of medical diagnostics, the CAT scan emerged as a transformative force, thanks to the collaborative genius of South African physicist Allan Cormack and British engineer Godfrey Hounsfield. This revolutionary imaging technology revolutionised medical diagnosis by offering unprecedented insights into the human body, heralding a new era of precision medicine and patient care.

Eric Merrifield and Aubrey Kruger: Guardians of the Coast

In the battle against the relentless forces of the sea, South African engineers Eric Merrifield and Aubrey Kruger devised a formidable ally: the dolosse. These iconic concrete blocks, though never patented, serve as silent sentinels along coastlines worldwide, dissipating wave energy and safeguarding harbours with steadfast resilience—a testament to the enduring legacy of South African innovation.

Marc Koska: Protecting Lives, One Syringe at a Time

In the realm of healthcare, South African engineer Marc Koska emerged as a champion of patient safety with his revolutionary SmartLock Safety Syringe. By preventing needlestick injuries and minimising the risk of infections, Koska's innovation has become a cornerstone of modern medical practice, saving lives and preserving dignity with each injection.

Ferdinand and Danny Chauvier: Cleaning Up the Pool Industry

From the shimmering waters of South African pools emerged a game-changer in aquatic maintenance—the Kreepy Krauly. Conceived by Ferdinand and Danny Chauvier in the 1970s, this automatic pool cleaner revolutionised pool maintenance globally, offering efficient and hassle-free cleaning solutions that continue to define modern standards of pool care worldwide.

Henri Johnson: Speeding Up Sporting Success

Are you a sports enthusiast? Somerset West native Henri Johnson's 1992 creation, the Speed Gun, revolutionised sports training. This device accurately measures ball speed and provides real-time feedback, reshaping modern cricket coaching techniques.

Fun fact: Henri also invented the Speed Ball, a more general sporting tool that assesses the angle and velocity of sports balls across various disciplines.

George Montague Pratley & Frank Robinson: The Adhesive that Binds Industries

Pratley's Putty was invented by South Africans George Montague Pratley and Frank Robinson in the 1960s. Originally developed for electrical use, its strong adhesive properties found applications across industries, making it a globally recognised product for repairs and construction.

As we reflect on the remarkable achievements of these visionary inventors, we are reminded of the boundless potential that resides within the South African spirit. From the shores of Cape Town to the bustling streets of Johannesburg and every town and village in-between, our nation continues to nurture a culture of creativity and innovation that knows no bounds. At De Beer Attorneys, we stand as proud custodians of this legacy, committed to championing the rights of creators and innovators who dare to dream and defy convention. On this World Intellectual Property Day, let us celebrate the remarkable ingenuity of South Africans and the enduring impact of their creations on a global scale.

To discuss how to best protect your innovation today, please pop us an email at


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