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2019 Simama Ranta Awards lauded a great success
Thursday, 05 December 2019. We hope to create employers and not employees, said Eskom Development Foundation CEO, Cecil Ramonotsi, at the conclusion of the Simama Ranta competition which aims to advance entrepreneurship.
Now in its tenth year, the competition which is held annually in collaboration with the Enterprise with Education Trust (EWET) aims to identify and acknowledge South African intermediate and secondary schools that are making a concerted effort to lead the way in entrepreneurship education.
This years’ awards ceremony was held at Fourways in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening where Mudimeli Yes Club from Mudimeli Secondary School near Makhado, Limpopo, was named overall winner of the Simama Ranta competition in walking away with a R100 000 cash prize towards the growth of their entrepreneurship project.
Through this initiative, the Eskom Development Foundation and EWET want to contribute towards eradicating poverty and unemployment, especially amongst the youth. All South African intermediate and secondary schools can enter the competition. To qualify, schools must run enterprise clubs that teach their learners the basics of starting and running a business through practical application while also responding to their communities’ socio-economic needs.
Eskom Board member, Professor Tshepo Mongalo said that this year’s contestants showed determination in their entrepreneurial projects. “The 2019 participants have no shortage of ideas. They have not only identified the gaps in the market, but the market in the gap. Some made money by selling vetkoek or ‘slapchips’ to their fellow learners. Some organised talent competitions and staged their own local “Idols” shows. Some carved dustbins from wood or welded together braai stands. Others started vegetable gardens and sold the produce at affordable prices within communities where poverty levels are high. In most cases the money that was earned was reinvested into the business either as working capital, or in new supplies and new equipment that will contribute to even greater profits in the months to come. This is a clear demonstration that we are achieving the main objective of this initiative: to impart skills and knowledge so that we can grow a generation of South Africans that are job creators and not job seekers,” he said.
Going up against another 27 finalists from around the country, Mudimeli Yes Club has been running since 2010 and was honoured for running a successful tuckshop, a beading and knitting club as well as a flourishing vegetable garden. Not only is the club able to assist underprivileged scholars pay for important school excursions, the club has also created employment for two local community members.
Vision Ramovha and Lawrence Phunyugu, learners at Mudimeli Secondary School, said that while they entered the competition to win, being announced as the overall winner was a major surprise.
The ‘Most inspiring Educator’ award went to Shonisani Alfred Mafukadhuvha who is a teacher at the very same school which took the overall prize. “As a teacher, before starting my lessons, I start with a joke. This is why my learners do so well. I have been getting a 100% pass rate for the past 14 years. It took Mudimeli 10 years to win. After trying for so many years, I am so happy that we are finally a national winner. No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come. Today it has come,” he said excitedly.
The following provincial winners received a R50,000 cash prize for their clubs:
Gauteng:                    Winile Secondary School from Katlehong
Mpumalanga:             Ubuhlebethu Secondary School from Nkangala
Limpopo:                   Mahlasedi Special School from Capricorn South
KwaZulu Natal:          James Nxumalo Agricultural High School from Ulundi
Eastern Cape:            Mpambani Mzimba High School from Alice
Free State:                 Taiwe Secondary School from Theunissen
North West:               Batswana Commercial High School from Mmabatho
Northern Cape:         Ikakanyeng High School from Kuruman
Western Cape:          Intsebenziswano High School from Phillipi
The objective of the competition is to present an alternative to the thinking that once young people graduate, they should look for a job in an already difficult employment climate. Rather than looking for jobs, Simama Ranta hopes to create employers rather than employees, said Ramonotsi.
He also said that he was proud of each of the finalists as they were making a valuable contribution towards the success of their communities.
The competition is open to South African intermediate and secondary schools that run entrepreneurship clubs which teach learners the basics of starting and running a business while also responding to the immediate communities social and economic needs.