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Eskom Foundation and partners celebrate future entrepreneurs
Thursday, 25 January 2018: The Eskom Development Foundation, in partnership with the Education With Enterprise Trust (EWET), hosted a prize-giving ceremony in celebration of excellent youth entrepreneurship education on 24 January 2018 in Harrismith, Free State. The ceremony was to recognise the province’s top achieving schools in the 2017 Simama Ranta School Entrepreneurship Education Competition.
 
Harrismith Secondary School was named as the overall national winner of the competition, beating 27 other finalists from across South Africa and receiving a R100 000 prize money, while Kgethatsebo High School emerged as the Free State provincial winner, taking home a R50 000 cash prize.
                                               
The annual Simama Ranta competition identifies and pays tribute to South African schools that are exemplars in entrepreneurship education. The competition seeks to teach and encourage young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice. To qualify, intermediate and secondary schools must run enterprise clubs that teach their learners the basics of starting and running successful businesses through practical application while responding to their respective communities’ socio-economic challenges.
 
Simama Ranta rewards the top three schools in each province as well as the overall national winner of the competition from all 28 finalists from across the country. The prize money for the overall winning enterprise club is R100 000 and each provincial winner receives R50 000. Provincial runners-up each receive R25 000 while second runners-up receive R10 000 each.
 
“The Eskom Simama Ranta empowers us as young people to start our own businesses and become job creators instead of job seekers, the programme also helps reduce the number of socio-economic issues surrounding us young people,” says YES club member Katlego Dahile.
 
The prize-giving event was held to recognise and celebrate the province’s young people and their contribution to socio-economic development and to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship amongst in-school youth. With millions of young employable South Africans being unemployed, the Eskom Development Foundation and EWET run various programmes aimed at empowering the youth to actively participate in the economy.
 
“The Simama Ranta programme has made a remarkable contribution to our institution, today we can proudly say our institution has grown from strength to strength; the programme has also assisted in forming a close bond within our organisation,” says Kgethatsebo Secondary Principal, Mr. Mokhele
 
Eskom Free State Operating Unit General Manager, Ms Lindi Mthombeni, commended the learners for their work and said government and business need to work together to create more collaborations and initiatives such as Simama Ranta, which can help in giving young people the requisite skills to become economically active. “These school enterprise clubs are a great example of the direction that young people in school need to take for our economy to thrive,” said Mthombeni.
 
ENDS
 
The Eskom Development Foundation is tasked with implementing Eskom’s CSI strategy in sectors including enterprise development, education, healthcare, social and community development.