Santam Safety Ideas Innovation Challenge Winners Announced

Updated on 14 August 2017

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Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (14 August)

A cost-effective security system for low income families from Jonga is set to change the lives of township residents by making home protection affordable.

South Africa’s largest insurer, Santam last week announced Ntando Shezi and Ntsako Mgiba of Jonga as the winner of the inaugural Santam Safety Ideas Campaign which is run in partnership with the Launchlab; a network of university campus-based business incubators and an initiative of Innovus, Stellenbosch University’s industry interaction and innovation company.

The winners, social entrepreneurs Ntando Shezi and Ntsako Mgiba created Jonga with the aim of making security accessible to everyone and not just to a few who can afford it.

The device consists of two parts: a hardware section that is mounted on the wall and a software part that is either a smartphone app or SMS notification, depending on the type of cellphone the user has. The hardware will sense the person breaking in and send a notification to your phone, asking if you’re expecting anyone. If you’re not, it sends notifications to your neighbours, alerting them to what’s happening in your house.

Mgiba, hopes Jonga will go the distance to empower communities to get connected and protected, “This initiative is very close to our hearts because we also have families in townships. We are thrilled and grateful to Santam and LaunchLab for believing in our product and making it possible for us to start developing our product so that we can launch our pilot programme in various townships.” Mgiba added, “We believe big corporates like Santam should continue to invest in innovative initiatives so that they can make a tangible difference in our communities.”

The Santam Safety Campaign encourages South Africans from all walks of life to put forward innovative ideas and concepts that have the potential to help keep South Africans safe. The campaign which was launched in July last year has generated more than 150 entries from across South Africa.  The top finalists selected in the inaugural phase were all worthy contenders for the title and an incubation prize valued at R150 000. The opportunity to participate in an incubation process saw their concepts or ideas being developed into working prototypes – and possible, viable business ventures.

The final 4 contenders in the Santam Safety Campaign were:

  • Ntandoyenkosi Shezi and Ntsako Mgiba of Jonga who developed a cost-effective security system for low-income areas;
  • Mbulelo Mpofana of TrafficEye, an insurer independent app-based insurance telematics solution provides users with greater control over their telematics data ;
  • Jonathan Shutte and Dieter Zermatten of Bomvu Stake Initiative, their idea captures statistical data to highlight regions with high accident fatalities; and
  • Tharina de Lange of Guardian Angel Safe Zone, who has evolved the concept of wearable proximity-based tags to track the GPS location of loved ones.

Entries for the next season of the Santam Safety Campaign are now open.

Johannesburg One Of Top 50 Global Cities for Women Entrepreneurs

The findings of the 2017 Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE Cities) Index, reveal how 50 top global cities are fostering high-potential women entrepreneurs (HPWE). Building on 2016 WE Cities research, the study ranks cities based on the impact of local policies, programs and characteristics in addition to national laws and customs.

WE Cities is the only global, gender-specific index that looks at a city’s ability to attract and foster growth of women-owned firms.

New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, London, Boston and Stockholm are the top-five cities for high-potential women entrepreneurs.

Johannesburg ranked 28th out of the 50, ahead of Seoul, Barcelona, Tokyo and Dublin, among other notable cities.

According to extensive data and analysis, when impediments to female entrepreneurship are removed, there is a dramatic uplift in a city’s economic prospects.

Dell’s WE Cities Index provides a diagnostic tool to advise entrepreneurs and policy-makers on how to improve conditions to enable businesses founded by women to thrive.

“Globally, women’s entrepreneurship rates are growing more than 10 percent each year. In fact, women are as likely or more likely than men to start businesses in many markets. However, financial, cultural and political barriers can limit the success of these businesses,” said Karen Quintos, EVP and chief customer officer at Dell.

“By arming city leaders and policymakers with data-driven research and clear calls to action, we can collectively improve the landscape for high-potential women entrepreneurs, which in turn dramatically lifts a city’s economic prospects — as what is good for women is good for the economy.”

Regulatory Uncertainty And Strong Rand Impact On Mining production, Says Chamber of Mines

The Chamber of Mines has pointed to commodity prices and the strengthening of the rand exchange rate as the reason for the year-on-year decline in mining production for June.

Statistics South Africa said last week that mining production had decreased by 2.6 percent year-on-year in June compared to the same period last year, with the platinum group metals being the largest negative contributor, contributing -3.0 percentage points.

This was a  a third consecutive monthly contraction in mining production, having declined 0.2 percent in May and 1.4 percent in April.

The Chamber said there was no doubt that this decline was largely explained by a combination of the uncertainty regarding commodity prices and the strengthening of the rand exchange rate against the dollar.

The rand was on average nearly 16 percent stronger against the dollar over the first seven months of 2017, compared to last year. It strengthened by over five percent since January, eroding the slight improvement in commodity prices.

Rand commodity prices lead production volumes. The chamber said it had expected production volumes to decline further in June as the landed prices continued to decline.

Henk Langenhoven, the chamber’s chief economist, said trends in commodity prices and the performance of the rand have an enormous impact on the mining sector’s profitability.

“Any additional uncertainties, like the potential electricity price increase as well as the legal and regulatory uncertainty relating to the Department of Mineral Resources’ Mining Charter detracts from the sustainability of the sector,” Langenhoven said.

“The latest announcements of mine closures and further potential closures are serious signs of this.”

The chamber has interdicted the implementation of the Reviewed Mining Charter which sets new black ownership targets for the industry. Its provisions include that new mining rights holders have 30 percent black ownership shared amongst employees, communities and black entrepreneurs. (via African News Agency)

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