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Learners’ idea strikes gold

Written by Siphiwe Nyathi
A group of learners, who came up the with the idea to install sensors in the walking sticks of the visually impaired, has taken top honours in the Business Idea Generation Competition.

During an award ceremony held in Mbombela recently, officials from the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) School Entrepreneurship Programme handed over the trophy and certificate to the learners from Tikhontele Secondary School in Matsulu.

“We came up with an idea of inventing a vibrating walking stick, which will help the visually impaired when walking alone at the shopping complex or at their work places,” said school’s team leader Tracy Ncabane, 17.

“The stick will vibrate if a car is coming their way and also when they are about to approach or hit a wall. It will help to reduce accidents and give vulnerable people the freedom to walk alone without supervision,” she explained.

Seda project manager Gavin Leverton said the competition involved more than 20 schools within the Mbombela local municipality.

“The programme is aimed at teaching schoolchildren how to become entrepreneurs. We are happy about the contribution that it made to the schools in helping the pupils come up with innovative, brilliant ideas.

Seda’s entrepreneurship promotions specialist, Lusanda Dyani, said the agency wanted to encourage pupils to consider entrepreneurship at school level because not everyone will go to university after matric.

“We want to empower them to start thinking of creating jobs and grabbing the business opportunities so that they can be entrepreneurs and become financially wise.

“The programme is a success at the moment and we are happy about the innovative ideas that they came up with... because it shows that we heading somewhere,” said Dyani.