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Young Entreprenuer's Malaria Test Kit Wins SAB Foundation 2nd Annual Social Innovation Awards

2 November 2012

SAB Foundation invests in 60 micro and small business and creates 372 jobs

Johannesburg, 1 November 2012. An innovative and potentially life-saving malaria test kit owned by young entrepreneur, Ashley Uys, and his partner, Lyndon Munger, has won the first place R1-million prize in the SAB Foundation's 2nd Annual Social Innovation Awards. The award was presented to the duo by SAB Foundation Chairman and businessman, Cyril Ramaphosa, during the awards ceremony, held today.

The Social Innovation Awards is an SAB Foundation investment vehicle established to recognise unique, pro-poor product and service innovations, which can be commercialised. The projects should directly address challenges faced by, and can improve the lives of, the SAB Foundation's target beneficiaries - women, youth, persons with disabilities and persons living in rural areas. An open competition puts innovator applicants and their innovation through a rigorous, phased adjudication process.

Uys and Munger's Malaria pf/PAN (pLDH) Test Kit is an innovative rapid medical diagnostic test kit that detects all strains of malaria while also indicating within 30 minutes whether the malaria treatment provided is effective. The kit is one of only nine developed globally and only fully African-owned. It costs R4,00 per test, which makes reliable diagnosis feasible in low-income and poor rural areas.

The SAB Foundation's investment in the product will be used to up-scale the project and ensure it is distributed where it is needed, particularly in areas and countries where malaria diagnosis and treatment is a problem.

"Congratulations to those whose pioneering achievements have been recognised in this year's awards. We look forward to seeing them continuing the great work that will change our country and communities for the better. We need to ensure that South Africa becomes a visible home for those entrepreneurs who wish to grow their businesses by being agents of positive change within the SAB Foundation's target audience," says Ramaphosa.

The SAB Foundation is a beneficiary of SAB's broad based black economic empowerment deal, SAB Zenzele, a unique transaction in that it pays dividends from the first year.  The SAB Foundation holds 8.4 million or 18% SAB shares and uses the dividend income, of which it has received a  cumulative  R37.6-million to date, to invest in businesses and innovations, which best benefit its target beneficiaries. The SAB Foundation has invested in 60 micro and small businesses and created 372 direct and indirect jobs since 2010.

The Social Innovation Awards runner-up, Funda, awarded R500 000, is a digital education platform that distributes curriculum specific matric resources to teachers and students in high schools on their mobile phones and computers. It is owned by young entrepreneurs, Kennedy Kitheka and Kumbirai Gundani from Cape Town. 

In third-place, receiving a grant of R400 000, is iDes®, an interactive Driver Education System owned by Thivash Moodley and Neo Kgaje. iDes® is a simulated driver training solution for learner and professional drivers that is affordable and ensures people pass their driving tests first time around. The system is comprised of an e-learning application that immerses the learner into the theoretical content, bringing the subject matter to life.

In joint fourth place, receiving R250 000 each, are Muthi Futhi, a producer of indigenous traditional plant material; Organic Marula Oil Production, which provides household income generation through marula production; and MeMeZa Home Security System, a community supported and affordable house alarm system. 

Several seed grants of R100 000 each were awarded to outstanding innovations:   

1.    iMobiMaMa - interactive mobile technology based health care service for women to help prevent fatalities during pregnancy and childbirth.

2. Paperight - website offering inexpensive printable educational books and documents.

3.    The ECOtyre - eco-friendly filtration system producing clean air and water made from recycled tyres.

4. Handy Power Range - cellphone charger, computer charger, radio and table lamp which works without electricity and generates own power.

5. The Eco-Dynamic Toilet - designed to save water and enhance sanitation networks.

6. Iyeza Express - medication delivery service operating in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

7. Pimp my Book Network - online distribution of educational textbooks by connecting students across the country.

8. Tunnel Vision Farm - recycling of waste to fertilise vegetable crops.

For further information, please contact:

Robyn Chalmers

Head Media and Communications

Tel: 011 881 8679


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The long-term vision underpinning the SAB Foundation's programmes is to ignite a culture of entrepreneurship in South Africa as a source of economic growth, job creation and innovation.

Research into entrepreneurship in South Africa highlights three key areas of concern and need in South Africa's entrepreneurship landscape, namely that: 

1. South Africa lacks a critical mass of small and medium-size enterprises (as the economic landscape is dominated by few, large corporates and thousands of survivalist businesses)

2. Micro, small and medium-size businesses in South Africa typically struggle to raise capital for their businesses, owing to a lack of collateral, lack of business track record and/or a lack of risk-accepting funders

3. South Africa's culture of social innovation is largely untapped and un-commercialised.

The SAB Foundation therefore aims to contribute to the development of a culture of entrepreneurship through:

1. Supporting the growth of a critical mass of micro, small and medium-size businesses

2. Developing entrepreneurial role models, running high-growth businesses

3. Stimulating, rewarding and investing in social innovation.

To this end, the SAB Foundation currently runs three programmes:

1. The SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Fund

2. The SAB Foundation Growth Fund (in partnership with Endeavor)

3. The SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards

This is a SABMiller subsidiary news release, it was first published in its local market on 1st November 2012.


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