Youth Innovation Challenge: The future is NOW!

“Everyone says that youth are the future. The youth are not our future – the future is now!”

So says Kelebogile Pega, Founder and Director of Keglope Investments at the Youth and Green Economy Dialogue of Sustainability Week in Tshwane last week.

Pega, an entrepreneur whose sustainability-driven company re-uses and repurposes various materials, was among a panel of young speakers who are working in various sectors and industries to address some of the challenges facing society today. Energy, Technology, Water Solutions, and Entrepreneurship are just some of the topics discussed by young people who are not just speaking about the problems, but actively doing something to address them.

Some of these solutions were presented in the form of a Youth Innovation Challenge, hosted by the City of Tshwane in partnership with Innovation Hub. Of the 20 sustainability companies owned and run by young adults between 18 and 35 years of age who participated in the programme, nine will be incubated. After a gruelling pitching process, the top 3 were revealed at the Dialogue last week:

  • Lesego Seloane from Renowa Creations provides functional and aesthetically pleasing landscaping solutions
  • Rirhandzu Chuma from Azania Blue Tech Solutions helps municipalities alleviate electricity theft
  • Rendani Mmbodi, Moses Mhlawa and Tiisetso Mphuti from Geekkulcha offer a water monitoring system with a smart tank

These top 3 walk away with prizes valued at over R 80 000 each, which includes innovation incubation, a laptop, printer, external hard drive, and a branding package valued at R 20 000 to assist with their marketing.

The Proportional Representatvie Councillor of the City of Tshwane, Kwena Moloto, congratulated the winners with their achievements.

“Our youth will and must be the driving force of change,” he said.

To find out more about the event, visit and Join the conversation on Facebook @SustainabilityWeekSA and on Twitter @SustainWeekSA.

Injongo Project in Philippi opens newly refurbished Educare Centre

[CAPTION] From left to right: the Forever Educare Centre before and after recent renovations

Learners, parents, teachers and excited members of the local community welcomed Rotarians and members of the Lewis Group to the official re-opening of the Forever Educare Centre in Philippi today, 12 June 2018.

The centre, which cares for and educates 64 young learners, was in desperate need of renovations: the existing buildings were not structurally sound enough to house and educate the pupils. The Injongo Project, managed by Rotary Club of Claremont with financial support from the Lewis Group, invested R 2.2 million in completely overhauling Forever Educare Centre. The existing structures were demolished to make way for four brand new classrooms, and office and medical room, and separate ablution facilities for little ones and adults. Forever Educare also now has a new playground, modern kitchen facilities, and a security gate and driveway which allows for ambulance access if necessary.

“Besides rebuilding and adding to the facilities, we trained and up-skilled the principal and teachers, making Forever Educare a wonderful space that nurtures young children and gives them the best educational start possible,” says President of the Rotary Club of Claremont, Liz Rose.

Forever Educare is the 14th early childhood development (ECD) centre to be physically upgraded and the 58th one to benefit from the Injongo Project, bringing the total amount invested to R 18 million and making Injongo Project one of the biggest of its kind in South Africa. The Injongo Project, now in its sixth year, helps ensure all-round positive experience for little ones that prepares them optimally for primary school. The Injongo Project goes beyond physically transforming ECD facilities and conducting ongoing training of principals and teachers; it also includes research, monitoring and evaluation of the ECD centres across Philippi, with a strong focus on health and safety. This holistic approach is key to the success of the Injongo Project.

“We sincerely believe that through the upgrades and renovations of these educare centres, we have helped to make children and their parents so much happier by providing a safe, appealing learning environment for them,” says Johan Enslin, CEO of Lewis Group.

For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit

For more information on Lewis Group, please visit

Celebrate Youth Day, Zip Zap style!

2042 children and youth received circus tuition in 2017 through Zip Zap’s 10 different social, recreational and outreach programmes.

In 2014, Zip Zap created the South African Social Circus Network (SASCN) believing in unity to create change by using the circus arts. In its 5th year, the SASCN will meet in Stellenbosch at the Sisonke headquarters for a fun day on the Flying trapeze to honour the youth, celebrate diversity, and remember how Zip Zap started in 1992.

Siyabonga Swelindawo, Zip Zap’s Outreach Coordinator speaks out of excitement, “Social Circus taught me life skills including self-confidence, honesty, trust, and respect; its great fun to pass it on to the younger generation. I can see the transformation in all the kids we teach”.

“Zip Zap’s Winter TOTS camp also celebrates youth; it’s more than a workshop for the winter holidays because we pair the children who have never met before, and they all have fun together while making friends”, adds Siyabonga.

Zip Zap’s Winter Tots Camp is a unique experience for kids between the ages of 5 and 8 years. The children get a taste of circus magic through a jam-packed week of fun circus activities and on the last day they put up a ‘Show & Tell’ with costume, make-up and music.

Lizo James, one of Zip Zap’s instructors states that “This camp brings so many smiles each year. They interact socially, they play non-stop for  hours and they learn great circus tricks.”

To book a space at the Winter TOTS workshop:   or contact


Addressing water scarcity through an abundance mindset

Water is life’s most precious and necessary resource. As South Africa faces a water crisis, with the Western Cape bearing the brunt of the drought in a country that is already water-scarce, what led to this situation and which lessons can be implemented going forward?

“In 2002 South Africa became water constrained when the National Water Resource Strategy announced that we had allocated 98% of our water,” says multiple award-winning scientist, Dr Anthony Turton who is set to speak at this year’s Sustainability Week 2018 Water Seminar. “In 2014 we became capital constrained when our Foreign Direct Investment became negative in response to Marikana, and the Bell Pottinger campaign against White Monopoly Capital [also played a part]. We need to grow the economy by 6% just to employ the 26 million Born Frees, and this has to happen in an economy that is both water and capital constrained. This is our collective challenge,” Dr Turton explains.

The first step towards meeting this challenge is making a mental paradigm shift – from scarcity to abundance. This is according to Benoît le Roy, CEO of Water Shortage South Africa, another renowned speaker on the Sustainability Week 2018 agenda, taking place on Thursday, 07 June 2018 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Tshwane.

“The Paradigm of Scarcity is based on the concept of water as a stock and cost problem to be avoided or minimized,” says Le Roy. “The Paradigm of Abundance, on the other hand, is based on the known chemistry and physics of water as a flux that moves in time and space. Water in this view is an infinitely renewable resource, so the only constraint is our institutional capacity to attract capital and technology.” Le Roy explains that South Africa needs to implement the following to reach Abundance: a coherent National Water Strategy; a clear policy with respect to the strategy implementation; an effective water regulator; and finally, a decentralised water service landscape that a smart, adaptive, responsible approach to water stewardship in which the private sector takes the lead.

The implications of these actions are far-reaching. How ready is South Africa to take advantage of the opportunities? Don’t miss these experts, including Dr Turton and Le Roy, who will be lighting the way forward at the Sustainability Week 2018 Water Seminar on Thursday, 07 June 2018 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Tshwane.

To find out more about the event, visit and Join the conversation on Facebook @SustainabilityWeekSA and on Twitter @SustainWeekSA.

New Campus for Leap Science & Maths Schools

With a 100 percent Grade 12 pass rate and more than 83 percent of students able to pursue tertiary studies, the results of the LEAP Science & Maths Schools in Diepsloot, South Africa, speak for themselves.

Construction is well under way in Diepsloot, Gauteng where a brand-new LEAP school in partnership with Aveng is being built for 300 learners from the community. Currently, 210 learners attend LEAP’s Diepsloot school which is operating from rented space in a converted warehouse. The new purpose-built school campus, which is set to open its doors in January 2019 will be the centre of an educational hub for local residents, complete with 11 classrooms, a learning centre, a library, a computer centre, administration block and a community hall.

LEAP Science and Maths Schools provides low cost education to students with potential from high-need communities. The Non-Profit Organisation, which relies entirely on donor partners, has since 2004 opened six schools in the Western Cape, Gauteng and Limpopo. Science, Maths and English are mandatory subjects at the schools which have extended learning hours on Saturday and holiday programmes, always emphasising academic success and personal empowerment.

For the past eight years the rented warehouse premises have been a challenge for the learners at LEAP 4, the name for the LEAP school in Diepsloot, which in 2011 was the fourth to be established by the organisation. They have had to cope with high noise levels, no classroom ceilings or proper room dividers as well as extreme heat in summer and cold conditions in winter. Despite this, their Grade 12 class achieved a 100 percent pass rate in the 2017 National Senior Certificate exams. “In spite of the challenges of the current rented premises, we have achieved amazing results and we look forward to achieving even greater results at the new school,” says James Malope, Principal of LEAP 4 in Diepsloot.

The LEAP Science & Maths School strives to play an active part of the community it serves and the new school will be an educational hub for the work of the Global Teachers Institute as it develops a pipeline of innovative teachers for underserved communities such as Diepsloot. In addition the library, learning centre and computer centre will be made available to students from other schools in the area, not only LEAP students. The hall will also be used for various community events in Diepsloot. It is being built on vacant land belonging to the Methodist Church of South Africa (MCSA), who has agreed with LEAP’s long-term vision to invest in education and have waived rent for the first year, during the construction phase.

Thirty members of the Diepsloot community, many of them parents with children at LEAP 4, have received training in construction work and are now working to build the new school their children will attend. They are employing the rammed earth technology method that uses compacted soil. The technology keeps the building cool in summer and warm in winter with no air conditioning required.

Annual operating costs for the school are between R5 million and R7 million. Since 2012 construction group Aveng have contributed funds for all operating expenses at LEAP 4 and are now a key sponsor of the new building. The Roy McAlpine Foundation has contributed R1, 6 million towards building the school library and Total has committed over R2 million. All cement has been donated by AfriSam and bricks have been donated by Brickor.

“We are grateful for this partnership with our donors, the students are excited and can’t wait for the new school to be ready. We remain committed to creating maximum impact in education in South Africa for children living in marginalised communities, through innovative and collaborative partnerships,” concludes John Gilmour, Founder and Executive Director of LEAP Science & Maths Schools.

Let’s talk about sustainability

In a space that is technical, complicated and sometimes full of ‘hot air’, how do you communicate clearly, truthfully and engagingly about topics such as carbon neutrality, waste management and corporate social responsibility? Through the networking partnership of Reputation Matters, Open Cape Town and specialist recruitment consultant, Lisa Wannell, #DialogueMatters, have created a networking space to discuss different communication challenges.

On Wednesday, 18 April 2018 #DialogueMatters hosted their session at The Bureaux in Woodstock and focussed on exploring the challenges of communicating complex messages around sustainability.

Kicking off the session, Chris Bischoff, Research Analyst and sustainability specialist, spoke about the importance of understanding your different stakeholder groups before embarking on a communication campaign. “By conducting stakeholder research you can gain very useful insight into the depth of knowledge that your different stakeholders have on sustainability subjects as well as their preferred channels for communication. This will greatly influence how you communicate with them and how they receive messages”.

Kristina Malther, Managing Director at Open Cape Town and facilitator of the workshop highlighted, “One of the challenges of communicating sustainability is the complexity of it, and the fact that we are often communicating simultaneously to many different stakeholders with different prerequisites of understanding of the subject matter, from school kids to engineers, and that makes it very challenging to get the messaging right”.

“Combining facts with visuals, such as infographics, is often a good way to stay true to the facts while making them more accessible for a wider audience or employees,” adds Malther.

Lisa Wannell, Specialist Search consultant and workshop speaker talked about what is required from ‘sustainability specialists’ nowadays, “From a recruitment point of view the evolution of this specialism over the past ten years or so has been fascinating to see, sustainability specialists are becoming as sought after as change specialists as organisations step up to meet the challenge of ensuring their businesses are sustainable across all functions. The skill set of these specialists demands a breadth and depth of knowledge incorporating technical knowledge in engineering and science fields, with stakeholder engagement skills, consummate written and verbal skills and up-to-date knowledge of current environmental and other legislation.

Wannell also went on to highlight how sustainability has started resonating throughout all areas of the corporate landscape where this has become evident in reporting, “Many major South African companies have led the way with their integrated reporting, the best of them demonstrating on virtually every page of their reports, how their sustainability strategy is aligned to the overall business agenda, or is inseparable from it. Clearly, Sustainability his is no longer a tick-box exercise, it’s well on its way to taking a seat at the top table”.

“Our research has shown that people want to do business with companies that take responsibility and are doing something to reduce their footprint; regardless of what their service offering or product is,” says Bischoff. “Start internally with employees; get them to ‘walk the talk’, because ultimately they will be representing the organisation with its sustainability journey”. “Engaging employees as ambassadors for your sustainability agenda is a very effective way of getting the message out there, and to a wider audience,” adds Malther.

Specialised sessions can be arranged and customised according to an organisations needs. For more information about these sessions, get in touch at

Re-writing the African narrative, one core value at a time

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been voted Africa’s most reputable and ethical individual, while Gift of the Givers and Botswana were recognised as the most admired organisation and country on the continent.  These are just some of the top level results from the research conducted by Reputation Matters for African Public Relations Association (APRA) on African ethics and reputation. According to president of APRA, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, “Many lessons have been learnt from the research and great opportunities present themselves to take ethics and reputation of African countries to the next level.”

Our Managing Director, Regine le Roux, presented the results of the survey at the 30th annual APRA conference in Gaborone, Botswana on Wednesday, 09 May 2018.

“With a population of 1.2 billion people spread across 54 countries, imagine if each person chooses to share one positive story about their country or Africa every day; there will be 365 stories per person, per year! Imagine what that will do for the narrative on the continent! We can change the African narrative, one individual, organisation and country at a time!,” added Badejo-Okusanya.

APRA assists in setting standards, creating and enabling a professional environment for accurate perception, goodwill and understanding of necessary and effective PR practices. Valuable insights were gained from the almost 120 respondents who mostly identified as CEO’s and senior executives in the communication, PR and marketing industry. These insights will be used to support the partnership between APRA and the African Union (AU) to assist them in building a prosperous image and reputation that is authentic to Africa. Of the 12 countries represented in the survey, 71% of respondents reside in South Africa with Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Namibia and Angola also being represented.

The research highlights revealed that respondents scored 89% for ethics and reputation management on a personal level. Organisations received 84% for ethics and 85% for reputation management, while African countries received 35% for ethics and 34% for reputation management which illustrates big opportunities for growth. The average percentages confirmed and correlated with Reputation Matters’ unique measuring tool, the Repudometer which calculates ethics and reputation across ten business dimensions.

The AU theme for 2018 is “Combatting corruption – a sustainable path to Africa’s transformation”.  This resonates well with the data on country level where respondents indicated that the meaning of ethics mainly refers to anti-corruption in government. Respondents sighted Botswana as setting the example as the most reputable and ethical country in Africa. The research proved overwhelmingly that ethics and reputation are interwoven and one cannot exist without the other. Respondents felt that behaviour and core values such as honesty, transparency and credibility are the most important elements of a reputation. On an organisational level, respondents felt that their brand’s reputation is actively managed, communicated and prioritised by their leaders. Organisations should focus on getting the internal building blocks in place before engaging in external communication.

What can we do to re-write the narrative as per the conference theme – ‘Re-PResent Africa’? “The first steps to re-PResenting a positive African narrative is to go back to the basics and get the internal narrative right. We need to make sure that core values are in place and reflected in daily behaviour.  This will then be authentic to our communication initiatives,” says Regine le Roux, Managing Director of Reputation Matters. “As public relations and communication professionals, we should strive for a code of ethics which resonates with the real and positive story we’re here to tell about Africa to the world.”

If you want to participate in our annual APRA research, or interested in how your organisation measures up, please contact

Industry 4.0 showcased at Sustainability Week 2018

It’s everywhere. It’s inescapable. It might make your career. It might rob you of your job. It’s the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and it’s changing your world even as you read. Are you ready? Come find out at Sustainability Week 2018.

Every industry – manufacturing, transport, agriculture, education – is being disrupted and transformed beyond recognition by Industry 4.0. “Industry 4.0, through automation, integration systems, data collection and data analysis, can help to inform industry and government on how decisions can be made about competitiveness, about manufacturing, and about the re-skilling of people in low-skill jobs,” says Conrad Kassier, Industrial Energy Efficient Consultant at United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The acceleration of information and communication technology (ICT) has blurred the line between virtual reality and the real world. Industry 4.0 is about networking the Internet of Things (IoT), where machines communicate with each other, and the Internet of People (IoP), where machines communicate with people. The result: industries integrate the real and virtual worlds. Machines collect and analyse data for faster, better decision-making. Robots take over production lines. Refrigerators become hackable. Self-driving vehicles venture onto the roads …

“There are many opportunities in various sectors where Industry 4.0 in a broad sense can assist the industry to be more competitive, where they can access new markets and where new industrial development opportunities are very evident,” continues Kassier. The most important opportunity emerging from all this confusion is the possibility of leveraging Industry 4.0 for a smart, green world that is resilient to climate change. Logically, then, Industry 4.0 has emerged as a vital, cross-cutting theme at Sustainability Week 2018.

“Industry 4.0 is a must in the context of smart and sustainable cities”, asserts Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Councillor Solly Msimanga. “We are making steady in-roads in the City with our free wifi programme, our smart control centre for our Bus Rapid Transit system, A Re Yeng, and our e-Tshwane app – these are all building blocks towards Tshwane being a smart city and therefore an efficiently managed city”.

Whilst Industry 4.0 makes sense in running a city more efficiently, it has far wider application. Try agriculture. You might think farming is as far from “the Cyber” as you can get. Actually, the combination of drone and satellite technology and data analysis is already making agriculture more productive and climate-resilient – and the transformation has only just begun. It’s also bringing young people into an industry that used to be considered ‘boring’.

“Solving one of the world’s largest problems, agriculture, with cutting-edge and innovative solutions is a driving force behind young people seeing a bright future in AgriTech,” says Timothy Willis, CFO of Aerobotics and set to speak at Sustainability Week’s Agriculture and Food Security Seminar. “We’re using some of the world’s most advanced data science algorithms to solve this problem and that is extremely exciting.”

It doesn’t stop at agriculture. Industry 4.0 has infiltrated the Water Seminar, the Energy Seminar, the Transport and Mobility Seminar, and the Vision Zero Waste Seminar, not to mention the Green Building and Infrastructure Conference. Smart metering, smart grids, smart cars, smart buildings, and smart means of converting waste flows to revenue streams – that’s the all-encompassing smart built environment being ushered in by Industry 4.0. It’s time to bring yourself up to speed!

Then, the Industry 4.0 Workshop delves into the new and exciting opportunities that the digital transformation of industry and exponential technology changes offer South African manufacturing especially. At the same time, the Workshop emphasizes the continuous education, re-skilling and upskilling necessary to ensure people don’t lose jobs to robots. Pepper, the humanoid robot, will address the audience with a special message.

Last but far from least, the Youth and the Green Economy Dialogue invites young students and job-seekers to engage with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To ride the wave of change and not get left behind, young people will need to combine creativity, problem-solving, engineering, life skills, and a dynamic perspective of perpetual adaptation, self-investment and improvement. The time to start is now.

“The risks associated with industry 4.0 is that the industry is not able to keep up with the up-skilling of their workers,” says Kassier. He believes it important for government and industry to come up with a model that is both conducive for skills development and industry.

In support of the Industry 4.0 theme, Sustainability Week 2018 features a line-up of world-class experts from the UNIDO, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Development Bank of South Africa, the Water Research Council, the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency, the Green Building Council of South Africa, Aurecon, GIBB, Sqwidnet, and many more.

Sustainability Week 2018 runs from 5 to 7 June at the CSIR International Conference Centre in the host city of Tshwane, South Africa’s leading green building metro.

With 15 interrelated conferences, seminars, workshops and dialogues, there is a lot to choose from – so take the time now to register at

A royal mission for young South African musicians championing children’s rights

[CAPTION] (L-R) SA Idols 2017 winner Paxton Fiellies (17), Zintle Kati (16) and Simbongile Sam (17) recently returned from Sweden, where they performed at the award ceremony of the World Children’s Prize (WCP) in front of Queen Silvia of Sweden and hundreds of people from around the world. They return with a mandate to fight for girls to have equal rights to boys in their communities.

“As a child rights ambassador, I teach school children and members of my community about children’s rights, especially the rights of girls,” says Sam.

“I give a voice to children because few people listen to children in the communities I live in. Children are afraid to speak up about the abuses they experience on a daily level. I visit other schools to talk to children and teachers.”

Bonga Hatana and Athenkosi Halu (both 16 years old, from Khayelitsha) together with Sam and Kati (pictured above) formed a group called the Inkwenkwesi Stars that also performed in Sweden. They were joined by members of the Jazz Yard Academy Band from Bonteheuwel; Curtley Cerfontein (16), Quinley Lodewyk (17), Tyrese Stuurman (14) and Charlton Moses (16). All the children performed at the awards ceremony held at Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred.

The World Children’s Prize Foundation educates and supports children in acting as changemakers, standing up for compassion, the equal worth of every individual, children’s rights, democracy and sustainable development. Since 2000, 42 million children have taken part in the programme which has the support of more than 70 000 schools in 116 countries, as well as over 778 organisations and education ministries and institutions. Since it started, half a million teachers have been trained in working with children’s rights and democracy in schools. The foundation offers valuable resources and true stories for teachers to use in Life Orientation classes when discussing issues like human trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse.

Jean Wilke from the Rotary Club of Claremont also attended the WCP conference: “Children everywhere need to know that they have rights and they are protected.” Commenting on her experiences at the conference, Wilke said that it was inspiring to see how passionate the children were about changing their world:

“I was very proud of the South African contingent. Seeing young children talking with such knowledge and maturity about critical issues was phenomenal.”

While in Sweden, Wilke met with members from the Rotary Club of Mariefred. This club together with Rotary District 2370 in Sweden wish to help expand the reach of the WCP Foundation around the world. “Our ultimate dream is for Rotary clubs along the Garden Route, and in Namibia and Angola to help connect more children at more schools to the fantastic resources and connections that the World Children’s Prize offers. We want to tap into our Rotary network of clubs in District 9350 to reach more children, particularly in remote and low-income areas where they are at increased risk.”

For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit

Reputation Matters wins two SABRE Africa Awards

Reputation Matters is proud to announce that it has won two SABRE Africa Awards and a Certificate of Excellence in the Corporate Image category. The winners of the SABRE Awards which recognise superior achievement in branding, reputation and engagement were announced earlier this month and an award ceremony will take place at a gala dinner in Gabarone, Botswana during the African Public Relations Association (APRA)’s annual conference later in May 2018.


The prize-winning entry from Reputation Matters demonstrated how annual reputation research conducted since 2015 with members of the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa (IoDSA) has lead to significant improvements in the overall reputation of the IoDSA.


Reputation Matters has won the SABRE Award for Superior Achievement in Measurement and Evaluation and the SABRE Award in the Associations category. In the Corporate Image category, Reputation Matters has received a Certificate of Excellence. Of the 28 winning campaigns selected from across Africa, Reputation Matters was one of five agencies that won more than one award.


“We are thrilled to receive these awards which recognise our work ethic, authenticity and determination to grow, constantly pursuing excellence in everything we do,” says Regine le Roux, Managing Director of Reputation Matters.

Reputation Matters’ proprietary reputation research tool, the Repudometer® scientifically measures and quantifies organisations’ reputations based on an assessment of ten elements. The Repudometer® assists organisations in understanding who their stakeholders are, what perceptions each stakeholder group has of the organisation, and how to implement results-oriented, research-based communication solutions that helps take their reputations to the next level.

“We believe that if you value your reputation you will measure it. We have seen just how beneficial this can be for clients who use our research results to guide strategic decision making at an Executive level,” explains le Roux.


Chair of the SABRE Africa Awards judging panel, Paul Homes comments: “The quality of work in Africa is improving year on year. We are seeing exceptional campaigns from across the entire region, with increasingly sophisticated use of digital channels and a more integrated approach.”


For more information about Reputation Matters, visit or call +27 (0)11 317 3861 (Jhb) | 021 790 0208 (Cpt). Reputation Matters is also on Facebook and Twitter @ReputationIsKey