Ramaphosa: Innovation the key

2012-11-01 21:49

Johannesburg - Innovators and social entrepreneurs will play an important part in solving South Africa's problems, businessman Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.

"We've seen how innovation is creating products… In various communities it can give dignity back to people, create jobs," Ramaphosa said.

He said social entrepreneurs, people who think of innovations to help their communities, represented untapped potential for tackling South Africa's problems.

"They start off as a social service but they move on now to moving effective businesses. We need to recognise and support."

Ramaphosa was speaking at the 2nd Annual SAB Foundation Innovation Awards. The awards seek to recognise and provide support to South African entrepreneurs.

"We felt there was a need for us in our country to recognise the incredible spirit of innovation that this country has…To recognise it as local level, at the community level where it matters the most," Ramaphosa said.

"There are millions of innovators out there."

Ramaphosa said the innovation could solve South Africa's problems of poverty and unemployment by creating new services that could raise the standard of living of communities and employ people to provide those services.

Some of the finalists included a bicycle grocery delivery service, tunnel farming, and a simple township alarm system that uses a loud siren to summon help from the community when a person is attacked in their home.

The finalists were dominated by a younger entrepreneurs and innovators.

Ramaphosa likened the up-and-coming young entrepreneurs to priceless paintings which should be displayed proudly by South Africa.

"... finding those very precious Rembrandt paintings, bringing them out of the attic and showcasing them to ourselves and the world,” Ramaphosa said.

Several finalists won R100 000 prizes for their ideas and innovations with the second and third place winners earning R500 000 and R400 000 respectively.

The winner of the first-place, R1m prize, was Ashley Uys who developed a malaria test kit with his partner Lyndon Munger that can provide results within 30 minutes.

The kit will make testing in isolated areas, away from laboratories, much easier and save lives through faster treatment.

SAB refers to the prizes as "investments" as they will be used to help get the proposals of the entrepreneurs off the ground and turn them into working enterprises.

Uys said his R1m prize would help his cash-intensive business expand and become more viable.

"In my field of research, before you can develop a product, you have to burn cash and there's no guarantee that it will work,” Uys said.

Ramaphosa mentioned in his opening remarks that education was important towards helping innovation and making South Africa successful.

The second and third prize winners both dealt with education.

Third prize-winner iDes, interactive Driver Education System, is a simulated driving program that is affordable and ensures that people are able to pass their driving test during their first try.

Second-prize winner, Funda, is a digital education platform that distributes resources for matric to teachers and students to mobile phones and computers.

  • george.larkins.14 - 2012-11-01 22:18

    I hope the majority of South Africans can become innovative!!!! Then we can do away with BEE,AA,Quotas,Goverment grants etc.It is a Pity that it took Ramaphosa that long to make such statement.Wonder if the Goverment understand his line of thinking.They still fighting the struggle.

      themba.maseko.568 - 2012-11-01 23:08

      Do not be threatened by all these measures, they are merely there to help you sleep better at night in the long run, or shall I say, help your kids sleep better.

  • gladstone.dyonase - 2012-11-01 22:46

    Ramaphosa you are a no good person. What did you do to get into that BEE

      jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2012-11-02 00:32

      Ignore him, a poor attempt to gain attention.

  • themba.maseko.568 - 2012-11-01 23:04

    Big Cyril! I hope you will support me when I approach you. By the way why do we have such few comments when the story is positive. Is this what my country has come out to be, i.e., filled with a bunch of negative but intelligent and capable beings???

  • sefako.mokgalaka - 2012-11-01 23:21

    How come we are not seeing your companies supporting projects like Ludwick Marishane's Dry bath? Your interests are more into R18 million buffalo bull instead.

      peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-11-02 08:52

      Stupid prize goes to you!

  • kabelo.prince.73 - 2012-11-01 23:24

    Mr.RAMAPHOSA JUST TELL Us,what REALly happened in MARIKANA BEfore u comment about anything.

      peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-11-02 08:53

      He wasn't there! Stop listening to the lies spewed out by the ANC and lawyers Rhmaphosa is a mush better man then anyone currently heading up the ANC.

  • mlamli.jikeka - 2012-11-02 00:10

    can you realy tell us about those email before the killing!

  • themba.thwala.98 - 2012-11-02 04:41

    “Innovators and social entrepreneurs will play an important part in solving South Africa's problems,” so said businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, a man whose innovations boast a penchant for collecting buffalo's that cost only a mere R18 million. This in the land where the majority vote for gluttonous leaders like him but remain jobless and reduced to social grants' dependants. What an innovator!

  • thandeka.zwane.7739 - 2012-11-02 04:48

    Mmm... What is that harvesting u do it for, at Macdonald food stores with monopoly competion? How can u approve, at some stage more than 460 000 people to compete (on revenue motivated ends) for only two lousy common cars? Innovative ideas shouldn't be on the expense and reap off, from the poor! U even escape with a gamble to under 18yrs @ macdonald, Mr Ramaphosa

      peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-11-02 08:54

      WOW WOW WOW!! I take it back from my earlier award, you win the stupid prize for the day!

  • konanani.rachicoper - 2012-11-02 05:41

    You always make sense cyril.

  • mokoka3 - 2012-11-02 06:08

    Nntate Ramaphosa,you're busy embracing SAB for its good work. Have you done you're part? Is there any programme that you're running of supporting innovation in S.A? Talk is cheap, BABA. Focus you're depleted energy to marikana and explain to those families, what made you instruct the police to kill the miners that day. Guess is the devil within you- you're to rich.

      peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-11-02 08:58

      UMMMMMMMMM wow people need to really get educated in this country!! Why do you think he was at this awards ceremony?? HAve you looked at some of the projects Shanduka runs to help the country. FFS just read a little bit more and you will make your lifea lot better.

      peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-11-02 08:59

      And get a dictionary!! There was never an instruction to kill the miners you fool just please look up the meaning of the big words that he used so you can understand!! IT actually means action that has a fair but quick outcome for everyone.

  • Spha - 2012-11-02 06:19

    Is bidding for a 15 to 20 million buffallo innovative?how many 4 roomed houses cn b built with that kind of money.u are where u are today because of ur political connection nt bcos u r innovative.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-11-02 06:35

      That's so true mfowethu. During the CODESA negotiations Cyril, Tokyo and other very rich politicians met with the captains of industry in SA privately, and were OFFERED shares on credit, in return for abandoning nationalisation as the policy of the ANC. Those shares are repaying themselves while the politicians get millions in dividends. He knows nothing about innovation and is making millions on innovations of others

      thifulufhelwi.masala - 2012-11-02 08:26

      The more u stop hating and try to build your own future the better ar your chances of succeSs.

      peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-11-02 08:56

      Why do you need someone else who has worked hard for his money to give you anything?? It is not his job as a private business man to give you anything. Blame the ANC that I am sure you vote for as they are the reason. Also, make you own future stop waiting for handouts from others thats just lazy!

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-11-02 11:13

      Masala and Peterjeff where do you get the idea that we are hating or want the proceed of someone who has worked hard? Ramaphosa is a hypocrite who encourages innovation when all he did was become a BEE partner of established mining and other companies that were already profitable. What “hardwork” did he put in? Even the McDonald that he owns is someone else's concept. You guys must stop smoking your socks and debate issues as raised

      peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-11-02 13:20

      @Themba, is he successful?? Yes, has he made clever business decisions?? Yes, why is he so wealthy and lots of others who have the same opportunities are not? Who cares if he buys an animal for 18million with his money? He does a lot for the country with various charitable projects, I mean the man is one of the few guys who is was really part of the struggle he is from Soweto and has made a success and instead of praising him his onw people are out to attack him and why?? Because he had the guts to kick out Malema who is pure poison. We are not blind to the main reasons that the youth of this country hate him, it is because he got rid of a lying useless person who was making false promises to people and causing people to commite violent acts against each other yes that correct Malema! And yet people would rather support Malema who is a criminal over Cyril? And you support nationalisation?? Why so the leaders of the ANC can get more money and keep it to themselves while they destroy an industry. You guys are really blinded and it is sad to see how black people in South Africa have turned on each other out of greed!! and laziness!

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-11-02 13:39

      Peterjeff, yes he is successful. But he did not make any clever decisions, unless being invited to become a BEE partner in returning for ditching a promise of nationalisation without going back and bringing the ANC membership on board is a “clever decision” in your book. To me that is hypocrisy. I also don't think he is qualified to talk about innovation. He is not even an entrepreuner. He is cashing in on the hardwork of others. That is my point. I care if he buys buffalos with his money when his employees are paid starvation wages. He also apologised for the same reason. He does a lot of charitable work? How about teaching a man to fish? Yes, he did right by kicking Malema out. But where do you get the idea that I have issues with that? The fact is, people like Malema were not brought on board when the ANC ditched nationalisation. That is hypocrisy. Where did I say I support nationalisation? Stop making stupid assumptions. Your last remark is really low. I won't dignify it with a response.

  • juannepierre - 2012-11-02 07:05

    And one of the filthy rich talks...

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-11-02 08:40

    I'm a white middle aged pale male very pro SA, and have been firmly shown that I've no part in boosting SME's or SA as a whole these past 18 years. Even to the point where an mbeki, giqwa and ntsaluba slapped skills transfer by the most respected audit firm in the world in the face. Next time I deal with a black business, they must put down an advance deposit of 4000% of what I estimate - they just simply cannot be trusted to pay their bills // at least then I will be in line with their black trender brothers' & compatriots' escalated values.

  • jerome.fakoe - 2012-11-02 08:59

    Ramaphosa for president

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-11-02 08:59

    Please be our President!!!

  • donald.perumal - 2012-11-02 10:58

    @ Ramaphosa You are on the right track-get this party started!

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