The SAB Foundation has selected 17 finalists in its 9th annual Social Innovation Awards 2019 and 3 finalists in its 4th annual Disability Empowerment Awards. The final winners will be announced at an official awards ceremony on Wednesday, 09 October 2019.

Grants will also be awarded to other deserving innovation finalists. The finalists were selected from over 300 entries this year and SAB Foundation Innovation Specialist, Ntandokazi Nodada says that since the programme was initiated 9 years ago the quality of innovations has been on the rise. “We are seeing some incredibly talented South Africans, from all walks of life, produce socially informed and transformative products and services that are truly going to help make a change in the lives of those who need it the most, ” says Nodada. Nodada says that the finalists tackle issues such as environmental sustainability, technology accessibility and disability inclusion.

Other than their potential to create positive societal change, the finalist’s innovations were selected according to whether the independent panel of judges assessments showed they were scalable and could be commercialised as well their potential to create job opportunities. The SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards and Disability Empowerment Awards, were established as a means of supporting the growth and development of entrepreneurship in South Africa with a specific focus on servicing the needs of low-income women, the youth, people with disabilities and people living in rural areas.

“The SAB Foundation hopes to encourage individuals to empower themselves as entrepreneurs and in the process assist others with incredible but often simple resources which change the way our lives work,” says Nodada. Since its launch, the SAB Foundation has invested in over 160 social innovations through a financial commitment of more than R67 million.

The 2019 SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards finalists are:

Boolyx Edu-Tech: Web platform that offers an innovative e-Book solution, where students can access all thousands of textbooks and academic publications for an affordable monthly subscription fee

Fundabots: Low-cost robotic platform: The design of a low-cost robotic kit and curriculum for school-going learners to equip them with 21st century technology skills.

Kuba: Specialised online platform that partners with large corporate and small business owners to give them easy access to each other.

Moonshine Reflective Paint: Moonshine is a reflective paint in form of a spray, designed to make animals visible at night to avoid vehicles colliding with the animals. It is designed to reduce road accidents and fatalities in rural areas.

NuMaths Kids App: Mathematics based mobile application that is designed to both entertain and educate children. The app is based on the South African CAPS curriculum. The app is designed to cater for children aged between 4 and 6 years old.

Nunanny: The Nunanny Service connects parents to screened and experienced nannies for babysitting and nanny purposes

Spoon Money: A multi-sided digital platform which targets informal traders with community-oriented financial products leveraging well understood and practiced stokvel principles.

PlastiBrick: manufacturing of stock and maxi bricks using plastic collected from waste pickers. The bricks are strong, durable and fire retardant.

Pro Se Legal: Practical, relevant and user friendly access to justice through WhatsApp in any of the official languages through a chatbot. Users are walked through their justice journey and provided with advice through video, chat, documents, images and location tracking.

Put It Out Mini Fire Extinguisher: Mini Fire Extinguisher that is cost effective and easy to use. It is non-toxic, comes in the form of a pouch and requires no maintenance. The product has a minimum shelf life of 2 years.

Recycled glass turned countertops: Using recycled glass, procured from nyaope-addicted waste pickers, to produce countertops, floor and wall tiles and sculptures.

Regenize: A free, inclusive and rewarding recycling solution for community residents and waste pickers. Residents earn Remali, a virtual currency and can buy airtime, data or groceries based on the weight of their recyclables. Waste-Pickers are hired to collect resident’s recyclables and are rewarded appropriately.

Mobile Rural Technology Park: Technology skills access to rural schools and communities by a way of a rural mobile technology park and skills hub.

Spinetector: An upper limb safety protective suit to minimise the impact of injuries sustained by underground mineworkers and high-risk construction workers when they are hit by machinery or rocks caused by either disturbances or vibrations in the Earth’s crust.

Street Booksellers: Homeless people are provided with training in sales, book selection, customer service, cash management, display and price setting.

TANKS Coding App: The coding app makes use of tangible puzzle pieces and image recognition, to introduce learners to coding concepts without the use of computers. The app addresses the need of introducing learners to coding at a young age

Vollar: a multifaceted innovative model for driving real, transparent and measurable change in informal communities using digital currency and big data.

The Disability Empowerment Awards 2019 Finalists are:

Specialised seating for disabled children: Manufacture and provision of strong, low cost and custom made chairs with a tray table for children with disabilities. The chairs are made from recycled waste-paper materials.

ShowerBath: A combination of both a bath tub and shower, specifically tailored to enable easy bathing of people with profound intellectual disabilities coupled with limited mobility - who are unable to bath themselves and depend on a caregiver to perform the function.

The OptiShunt: A highly innovative, ground breaking, implantable device which offers the world's first definitive cure for glaucoma.

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