Johannesburg, South Africa, 17 July 2017 – On 11th and 12th July 2017, 20 Enactus university teams from across South Africa came together at the Enactus South Africa National Competition to showcase their social entrepreneurship projects that are changing lives and provide innovative solutions for sustainable impact in their communities.
The University of Zululand Enactus team was crowned as the Enactus South Africa National Champion Team and will now advance to represent South Africa at the Enactus World Cup 2017 to be hosted in London, England on 26 – 28 September. Here they will compete with 35 countries that are part of the Enactus network.
The Championship was held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Sandton, Johannesburg with Barloworld and Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited as the presenting sponsors of this competition. Other supporting sponsors were: AIG, CHEP, MTN Foundation, Nedbank, Rich’s and Unilever.
The Opening and Semi-Final Rounds of the competition took place on Tuesday 11 July when business executives who judged the teams to advance to the Final Round selected four university teams. The four teams that presented in the Final Round were: Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban University of Technology, University of Zululand and the University of Venda.
The team from the University of Zululand presented on two of their 6 projects: Vukuzenzele and iMbali. These projects focused primarily on food security, job creation, quality education and poverty alleviation.
Vukuzenzele and iMbali were initiated in 2015 through a phased approach, which resulted in the employment of 40 people. Both also address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
After establishing a secondary cooperative, for their Vukuzenzele Project, they empowered 30 member farmers with business, financial, and farming skills. They also set agreements in place for diversification of their sweet potatoes which included diversified crop production. These farmers now also produce coffee beans, sugar beans and cabbage for increased revenue streams and soil fertility.
Through their iMbali Project the team assisted two cooperatives of 5 members to obtain 74,5 hectares of land and improved the production of the rose geranium grown for the production of essential oil. They also assisted them with geranium seedlings. This will deliver an estimated worth of R2,5 million of product that can be harvested 6 months subsequent to planting. Through this expansion of additional land, 10 new jobs were created for unemployed youth. They also empowered the 15 members with business management and computer literacy skills along with improved farming methods e.g. utilizing crop rotation (butternut) for sustainable land use.
Chief Executive Officer and Country Director for Enactus South Africa, Letitia de Wet, says that Enactus is aiming at unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of their student members to enable real human progress and empower communities while developing the next generation of entrepreneurs and future leaders.
According to Jurie Welman, Enactus South Africa Board Chairman and President, CHEP Africa, India, Middle East (AIME) & Automotive Europe: “This event gives all delegates, a unique opportunity to witness first-hand the tremendous results achieved by our Enactus students that have a head for business and a heart for the world. More exciting, is to see how our teams take on sustainable enterprising initiatives to address real socio-economic issues in our country. So, it is true to say that Enactus teams are changing the world – here in South Africa, in Africa, and around the globe”.
The National Competition programme also included two Action Leader Forums sponsored by MTN SA Foundation that focused on Water Scarcity and Digitization – the Megatrend. In particular the latter topic with Paseka Lesolang, Managing Director of WHC motivated students to a live debate on ICT and how this is relevant to inform solutions to address every day challenges in disadvantaged rural communities.
In addition to the Enactus SA National Championship no less than 6 Special Competitions challenged the active teams to address specific causes and needs relevant to the participating partners this year. This provided opportunity for the amplification of projects to change more lives and communities.
The themes of these Special Challenges were:
- Barloworld Social Innovation Youth Awards;
- MTN SA Foundation ICT Enactus Challenge;
- Harmony LED Enactus Challenge;
- Ford Change the World Innovation Challenge;
- Ford C3 Building Sustainable Communities Project Partnership; and
- Unilever Zero Waste for Job Creation Challenge.
Group Chief Executive Officer, Dominic Sewela from long-term partner, Barloworld Limited acknowledged the vital role of youth development and social innovation through recognising young entrepreneurs and future leaders who are addressing pressing social problems through innovation. Chief Executive Officer Peter Steenkamp from Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited, recognized the impact of the partnership with Enactus that motivates students and promotes entrepreneurship to empower, and in doing so, actively contribute towards the socio-economic development of the country.
Visual footage and high-resolution pictures are available for usage along with opportunities to interview the Team President or the Enactus leadership.