We invited local entrepreneurs and students to come up with innovative solutions to our area’s biggest social and economic challenges. Here are our winners. In May, we launched our Innovation Competition 2017 in partnership with SustNet. The challenge was to pitch innovative solutions to some of the biggest social challenges we face in the Bellville area, including:

  • Unemployment
  • Homelessness
  • Crime & unsafe spaces
  • Drug abuse
  • Urban grime and litter
  • Property value degradation
  • Accommodation issues
  • Urban regeneration
  • Walkability

In a relatively short period of time, we received almost 100 entries. We were blown away by the quality of proposals we saw, and the creativity our community possesses. It was very difficult to select just five finalists to go through to the pitching round.

Our finalists were given just four minutes to pitch their idea to delegates of the GTP’s Unlocking our Urban Future conference, held on the 27th of June.


Meet the finalists

Chad Robertson


Problem: Urban grime and litter, the lack of recycling behaviour in South Africa

Chad and his team plan to encourage South Africans to recycle by rewarding them with Zaka – dedicated virtual currency that can be used to purchase vouchers on the organisation’s mobile voucher platform. Zaka can be earned by taking recycling to drop-off locations or by arranging collection.


Dawid van Graan


Problem: Crime and unsafe spaces

Dawid has created GoSafely, a compact universal panic button that does not require a phone. GoSafely offers very long range, long battery life, and a built-in GPS that emits co-ordinates when activated.

GoSafely will one day integrate with security companies’ response systems, to allow for faster, more accurate response times, and identification of crime hotspots.


Robin Alistoun


Problem: Solid waste removal, informal housing fire risks, employment, crime & security

Robin is planning to bring e-Bike technology to local informal and urban communities. These bikes can be used to move solid waste and recycling, aid community policing, security and fire detection, and help residents travel safely. Each E-bike will be fitted with a geo-tracker and panic button and will be leased from nearby upcycled secure shipping containers.


Dhanyal Davidson and Krista Roberto


Problem: unemployment, homelessness, crime and unsafe spaces, drug abuse

Dhanyal and Krista plan to create a digital platform for micro-entrepreneurs and their clients. The idea is to provide entrepreneurs with a QR code that can be used to accept SnapScan and SMS payments. These payments will be transferred to a pre-programmed, restricted debit card to discourage purchasing drugs and alcohol. Their goal is to empower the unemployed and create a responsible informal economy.


Lindikhaya Ngalo

Kasi Heroes

Problem: Crime and security

Lindikhaya plans to empower local communities by enabling people to become a “Kasi Hero” when they report a crime and upload a geo-tracked and time-stamped image, video or audio file as evidence.

The system logs all reports and forwards them to relevant community forums and law enforcement agencies. The system will offer a GPS-enabled panic button that alerts friends, family and authorities that the user is in danger, as well as a “take-me-home” alert that enables friends and family to suggest safe, rather than fast, routes.


Voting process

Our panellists were impressed by all five applications, and after an intense four-minute pitch plus Q&A session for each contestant, the audience was asked to vote for their favourite idea.

We used the QURIO voting system to enable the audience to vote using their mobile phones. Each pitch was scored from 1 – 100 for three questions:

  • How implementable is the idea?
  • How much impact will it deliver if successfully implemented?
  • What is the WOW factor?

After just a few minutes, the results were collated, and the following winners announced.


The winners and runners up of the Social Innovation Competition 2017


First prize when to Dhanyal Davidson & Krista Roberto for their IWORK concept.

The runners up were Dawid van Graan – GoSafely and Chad Robertson – Regenize.


IWORK will receive R50,000 worth of funding for proof of concept, marketing and incubation support. GoSafely and Regionize will each receive R15,000 worth of funding.

In addition to this support, Philip Marais, CEO of The LaunchLab, kindly offered additional incubation and support.

We would like to thank everyone for their ideas.

We feel inspired, refreshed and empowered to use technology to make a real difference in our community, and we hope to work with all of you in the coming years!