Afternoon Express – 29 October 2018

SABC 3’s Afternoon Express featured WC JASA facilitator Joanne Dreyer and Kensington High
students Terri-Lee Heuvel and Reece van der Merwe. These students were Transnet Young
Movers Competition winners and presenter Bonnie Mbuli is also a JASA alumnus. See from 26

Congratulations to all the graduates at McAuley House

Sponsored by Delta, McAuley House students graduate from the Digital Enterprise Programme

Today, McAuley House Grade 10 and 11 students who participated in the JA South Africa Digital Enterprise Programme had their graduation ceremony. Thank you to Delta Airlines, a global sponsor of JA Worldwide, for sponsoring this programme locally.

One of the student company teams at McAuley House is Meraki, which won the South African national Company of the Year Competition. Four team members will represent South Africa at the Africa regional competition. In early December teams from 14 countries will meet in Ghana, which is the 2018 host country as well as the country where the JA Africa regional office is based.

The Meraki team are busy refining their presentations and their products in preparation for travelling to Ghana. They have also had to quickly apply for passports and visas to make sure they are ready to travel.

We wish them all the best with their preparations and we will keep you posted on their adventures in Ghana.

World Food Day: Urban farmers are producing affordable food #WFD2018

On World Food Day we ask: Can small-scale farmers make a decent living? #WFD2018

With rising food prices and a high unemployment rate, millions of South Africans go hungry each day. Simultaneously, it has become almost impossible for new farmers to make a decent living.

There has been a downward trend for the past 30 years, where consumers continue to pay more for food but at the same time it is becoming harder for farmers to flourish, with many going out of business.

This is according to social justice activist Tracey Ledger. In response, some farmers have adopted desperate farming techniques, which harm the environment, animals and people’s health, as a survival strategy.

In her book, An Empty Plate, Ledger investigates the connections between food security and sustainable agriculture. She argues that economic and social problems in South Africa are directly linked to food and thus food should be at the centre of efforts to build a more equitable and just society.

There is enough food being produced in South Africa to feed the entire population. Why, then, are millions of South Africans, including farm labourers, going hungry each day? Because they do not have access to affordable quality food.

In response to this increasingly bleak situation, a new kind of farmer is emerging in urban areas, who claim rooftops to start veggie gardens. One of the pioneers is former accountant Sibongile Cele, who experimented with permaculture on her property before starting a hydroponic farm on a rooftop in Hillbrow, Johannesburg.

With a vertical tiered system to maximise space, her plants grow through holes in the piping. The roots feed directly from the nutrient-enriched water flowing through this highly efficient system, requiring no soil and less water than traditional farming. She sells her produce direct to her customers or to local vegetable sellers, which means lower prices for the consumer since she bypasses the formal retail sector with its large markups.

Her work is more of a vocation and way of life than a nine to five. Not only is she encouraging young children to start their own gardens, as part of her “Garden to Plate” initiative but she is also a key member within several networks.

One is the GMO Free Zone with a campaign launch in celebration of World Food, in Port Elizabeth. Here is a link to an introductory video. For more information visit the African Centre for Biodiversity website and Seed Freedom.

Cele is also an active participant in the  iZindaba Zokudla network where urban farmers meet to support each and share expertise. In September they met to give advice on some of the members’ business plans.

They are also sending out a call for people to organise cooperatives with the possibility of training from the German Co-operative and Raiffeisen Confederation. This is being organised through the National Professional Tertiary Cooperative of South Africa.

Cele has also started the Mcebo SeedBank initiative, as part of the movement to save and share organic, open-pollinated seeds. Through all these activities Cele is changing “the food system in South Africa by changing communities one day at a time.” Click here for more details on Cele’s rooftop farm, Mcebo Fresh Veggies.

In this video she talks about the Mcebo Seed Bank and her Farm-in-a-box.


#WFD2018            #ZeroHungerGeneration

Congratulations to the winners and finalists of Junior Innovators Competition 2018

   For the seventh year, Investec and Junior Achievement South Africa host Junior Innovators Competition

First prize goes to Kabelo Thato Nkonyane, from the National School of Arts in Johannesburg Gauteng, with an innovation for a Cashless Tuckshop Card. This allows
learners in school to convert their money into e-tokens that can be loaded onto the card and then they can use this card to make their purchases. The benefit of the product is that it could eliminate the use of cash at school.

In second place is Kehauhetswe Diamond Machaka,  from Kgakoa Secondary School, for his Lullaby Pillow, which will play lullabies to babies to help them sleep. This device comes with a remote control and the purpose is to help soothe a restless baby should the need arise.

Sibongakonke Zulu from Ponelopele Oracle Secondary School, also in Gauteng, came third for his Early Warning Headphones, aimed at keeping pedestrians safe. Since pedestrians often listening to music or take calls, using earphones, while walking, he came up with the idea of a warning sound to alert users of approaching vehicles.

Congratulations to our three winners, who were up against stiff competition. They will be receiving generous prizes from Investec in terms of funding towards their tertiary studies! We would also like to congratulate the 11 finalists and all 27 shortlisted contestants who came to Investec for the workshops and pitches. We are proud of all of you and are excited to see how you shape your destinies going into the future. Congratulations too to all the students who entered the competition and took the time to come up with innovative ideas and go through the detailed process of entering. You have proven you are entrepreneurially aware and that you look at the world through the lens of innovation and these skills could prove invaluable in the future.

For all the photos please click through to our Flickr album:

This annual four-day event motivates students to come up with innovative business ideas and high school students on JASA Enterprise and Academy Entrepreneurship programmes are eligible to enter. From the hundreds of entries received, 27 were shortlisted to attend two days of bootcamp style workshops. In these hands-on sessions, participants furthered their understanding of innovation and what it takes to go from a good idea to a successful business. They learned about marketing and costing, intellectual property rights and power pitching. Then, after a late night of final preparations, the candidates pitched to three panels of judges and 11 finalists were chosen for the final presentations. The three winners were announced at a gala dinner.

To see all the innovative ideas of this year, you can click here and to see the 2017 winners, click here. Throughout the week, the learners were assigned mentors to help refine their business ideas and this entailed some very late nights. We caught Programmes Coordinator Bonga Khumalo slacking off….

Well, no, actually he was closing his eyes for a few minutes to recharge 😉

We managed to chat to JASA Programmes Coordinator Elias Sebola for a few minutes before the finalists were announced:

JASA facilitators from other provinces came to assist with mentoring on Junior Innovators, including Pontsho Kakuli, who has been a facilitator for JASA in the Free State for close on three years now.

Another facilitator who travelled to Johannesburg to assist is Salome Kgokolo, who comes from Limpopo.

Considering that today is International Teachers Day, it is fitting to thank all the JASA agents, facilitators, mentors and advisors in our network. Without their commitment , JASA would not be able to have long-lasting impact.

We would also like to say a very big thank you to all the inspiring people at our funder Investec who work incredibly hard to make this event life-changing and memorable for the participants.

Young Movers Competition – a partnership between JASA, Transnet and the SABS Design Institute

Enabling the innovation of the next generation

Five years of the Young Movers Competition, sponsored by Transnet, in partnership with the SABS Design Institute

Transnet not only funds JA programmes, both in school and out, but has also sponsored the Young Movers Competition for the past five years, from 2014 to 2018, in partnership with the SABS Design Institute.

Participants on JASA programmes at high schools around the country are eligible to enter, by submitting an innovative business solution. To assist students on Transnet-funded Entrepreneurship Academy Programmes to prepare for this competition, the SABS has offered two innovation sessions, as well as guidance to completing the competition application form, to some high schools.

The learners’ business ideas are chosen based on the level of innovation and market feasibility and up to 40 finalists are chosen to fly up to Pretoria to participate in a design boot camp.

Some topics that have been covered in the design clinic include:

  • Research planning and design in entrepreneurship
  • Leadership and pitching and presentation skills
  • One-on-one mentoring sessions with SABS Design Institute industrial designers.

These sessions guide the learners to assess the practicalities and the technology needed to implement their ideas, which includes illustrating their ideas through sketching.

Then the contestants pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and the winners are chosen. Prizes have included tablets, filled with design apps, as well as the fantastic opportunity to work with the Design Institute to further research and develop the possibility and feasibility of their products.

To find out about the 2018 competition, click here and for the 2017 competition, click here. In 2016, the top three ideas included a money box that only opens once you’ve reached your saving goal, a device to convert your study notes into song lyrics and a shoe vacuum that cleans shoes inside and out.

Over the years, many participants have remarked that being on a JASA programme, and then being shortlisted to be a finalist in this competition, has been life-changing event, where they now see the world through entrepreneurial eyes.

Many of the participants have never travelled to Gauteng, been on a plane or stayed in a hotel, which adds to the excitement.

Every year finalists have impressed the judges by their ability to recognise needs in their communities and come up with creative solutions. The JASA programmes, and competition like these ,are vital ways of exposing students to new ways of thinking and providing them with a platform that allows them to explore their creativity and gain confidence in their ability to shape their own futures, irrespective of their socio-economic background. Clinton Mdluli explains what being on a JASA programme and participating in the Young Movers Competition has meant to him:

Transnet promotes innovation, industrial design and entrepreneurship with the Transnet Design and Innovation Research Centre at the SABS Design Institute. This facility supports entrepreneurs to research and develop innovative ideas and test their commercial viability and this is where the Young Movers Competition takes place.

The SABS Design Institute, funded by Transnet, also partnered with Investec to host the first rapid prototype accelerator programme.

Thank you to Transnet and the SABS for partnering with JASA to a culture of innovation, design thinking and creativity at schools.


To go to the Flickr album of the event, click on the image below:






Congratulations to Transnet Young Movers Competition winners!

Three winners are crowned after pitching their innovations to a panel of judges at the SABS Design Institute in Pretoria

Nationally, 20 JA South Africa Enterprise or Entrepreneurship Academy Programme learners were selected as finalists of the Young Movers Competition, which is sponsored by Transnet.

The 20 shortlisted students attended design clinic sessions to deepen their understanding of the design thinking process and to polish their pitches. Then they presented their innovative ideas to a panel of judges: Polisa Magqibelo of the SABS Design Institute, JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng and Power Masemola, a businessperson in Pretoria and former JASA facilitator.

In first place is Terri-Lee Heuvel, from Kensington High in the Western Cape, with her innovation of a watch that can monitor your health, such as glucose levels for diabetics. Here Terri-Lee is pictured with our judges.

In this video she talks about her device and also about the challenges of being the general manager of her school team company on the Enterprise Programme.

Taking second place, also from Kensington High, is Reece Van der Merwe, who came up with the idea of a wristband with an app that allows parents to locate their children and be alerted if their children stray too far. He also envisions this app as a platform for parents to engage with each other.

Azenathi Mamane from Ngwenyathi High School in East London came in third with her idea of a device on wheels that can detect biodegradable and non-biodegradable rubbish in the ground. Here she talks about what inspired her to come up with an innovation that can detect plastic rubbish and remove it from the environment.

The competition – a joint initiative between Transnet, SABS Design Institute and JA South Africa – is aimed at building a culture of design, innovation and entrepreneurship amongst high school learners. This is the fifth year that the competition has been running.

We would like to say a very big thank you to our sponsor Transnet and partner SABS Design Institute, which has made this competition possible. Photos were taken by Lipalesa Jane Makoele.

Susan Rathaba started her jewellery business on a YEDP programme

Alumnus Susan Rathaba tells her story

Susan Rathaba did the Youth Enterprise Development Programme in Diepsloot, Gauteng in 2017. During the programme she started her business, Afri Superb, where she makes bags, accessories and jewellery using traditional African cloth. Below are links to Susan telling her story in English and Sesotho.

Here are some of her jewellery pieces and bags:


Here is an interview with Susan in English and one in Sesotho:

You can also listen to her story in Sesotho: