Sandton, Johannesburg: (left) Nhlanganiso Sibanda, and Maraka Lefera, BTech students in Human Resources Management at the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) with an award won by Entrepreneurial Action by US (ENACTUS) CUT, a group of students who use entrepreneurial initiatives to serve their community. ENACTUS CUT was awarded five trophies at the annual ENACTUS national competition for students that took place in Sandton, Johannesburg over the weekend.

Students volunteer a 100 hours of their time to combat unemployment, scarce resources, lack of sanitation and malnutrition in Bloemfontein and Welkom regions.

Entrepreneurial Action by US (ENACTUS) Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT), a group of students who use entrepreneurial initiatives to serve their community, walked away with five trophies at the annual ENACTUS national competition for students that took place in Sandton, Johannesburg over the weekend.

“The ENACTUS national competition encourages students to transform lives and enable progress through entrepreneurial action for a better, more sustainable world,” says Prof. Crispen Chipunza, ENACTUS CUT project leader and associate professor in Human Resources Management at CUT.

From 27 competing institutions, ENACTUS CUT received fifth overall place and placed second in the Local Economic Development category sponsored by Harmony Gold.

ENACTUS CUT entered two projects, namely the Lefa La Rona Project and the Hare Kopaneng Project.

The Lefa La Rona project assisted a primary school in Chris Hani, Bloemfontein to combat their high water bill, high unemployment in the community and malnutrition among Grade R learners.

With the help of ENACTUS CUT, the school started a garden, which resulted in malnutrition dropping from 10% to 5% under Grade R learners. Four community members, who now play a pivotal role in maintaining the vegetable garden and irrigation, were also trained in Environmental Awareness by CUT’s Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, to assist with job creation in the community and cutting down on water usage.

The second project, Hare Kopaneng, addressed the need for business setup and management skills in an area where there was a lack of sanitation, operation of unregistered businesses, no infrastructure for business transactions and business owners lacking financial and business management knowledge.

Through the Hare Kopaneng project, businesses in the area saw close to a twofold increase in customers, unemployment has been reduced, there has been an improvement in family income and the municipality provided dustbins and refuse bags, which improved health and environmental conditions the area.

“The ENACTUS CUT students have also committed to a second phase to ensure the sustainability of the projects,” says Prof. Chipunza. “They are not moving through communities and leaving them to sustain the improvements themselves, our students will go back and further develop these projects to the point where they are self-sustainable.”

ENACTUS CUT’s Lefa La Rona and Hare Kopaneng projects also received recognition in the Capacity Building category, the Sustainability category and the Business Solutions for Community Development category, during the ENACTUS national competition.

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More about CUT

CUT is a leader in many technology fields ranging from learning programmes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) a broad field in which CUT has about 45% of its enrolments, much higher than many other South African universities. Further, CUT’s research and innovation leadership in many areas, more especially in rapid prototyping and manufacturing is world class. The latter has been honoured by both the Medical Research Council (MRC) as part of its National Medical Device Platform and the National Research Foundation (NRF), with the latter having granted CUT a Chair in this area. Through its social and technological innovations CUT aims to contribute towards the social-economic development in the region as well as in the rest of South Africa and internationally.