*WINNERS OF THE SAB FOUNDATION SOCIAL INNOVATION AND DISABILITY EMPOWERMENT AWARDS 2019 ANNOUNCED*
A total amount of *R13 650 000 *in funding
was awarded to twenty finalists at the Social Innovation and Disability
Empowerment Awards 2019.
The R1,3-million winners are *Regenize*, a free recycling service with a
rewards system, *The OptiShunt*, a device that prevents blindness in
glaucoma patients and *Specialised Seating for Disabled Children*, custom
chair and tray tables for children with physical disabilities.
*Specialised Seating for Disabled Children *also won the People’s Choice
award voted by guests at the awards.
*Social Innovation Award winners *
The Social Innovation Awards are aimed at innovators, entrepreneurs and
institutions with prototypes or early-stage businesses that solve a social
*CAPTION (left to right): SAB Foundation Chairman and External Trustee;
Moss Ngoasheng; Regenize, Social Innovation Awards winners Chad Robertson
and business partner Nkazimlo Miti; Deputy Minister of Social Development,
Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu; and SAB Foundation Social Innovation Project
Manager, Ntandokazi Nodada*
First place *Regenize* was developed by Chad Robertson and business partner
Nkazimlo Miti. A free and inclusive recycling solution that rewards people
for sustainable behaviours by exchanging their recycling for a virtual
currency, Remali, the value of which is determined by the weight of
recyclables. Remali can be used to purchase a selection of vouchers ranging
from airtime to data and groceries. To drive inclusivity, Regenize partners
with waste pickers during the collection process, providing them with
uniforms, transport and access to sorted recyclables.
Second placed *PlastiBrick *receives R900 000 to further an innovation by
Kekeletso Tsiloane that uses recycled plastic to manufacture stock and maxi
bricks that are strong, durable, fire retardant, and environmentally
In third place is *Put It Out*, a mini fire extinguisher designed by Toli
Altounis. It is a cost effective, non-toxic and easy to use fire
extinguisher devised to curb shack fires. The R750 000 will help put the
extinguisher into the hands of those who are at risk.
*Disability Empowerment Award winners*
The Disability Empowerment Awards are aimed at promoting social innovations
that improve the quality of life for people with disabilities through
assistive devices, training or employment.
*CAPTION (left to right): Joint first place Disability Empowerment Awards
and People’s Choice awards winner, **Mpho Mohlolo, developed Specialised
Seating for Disabled Children; SAB Foundation External Trustee, Dr William
Rowland; joint first place **Disability Empowerment Awards winner, Dr
Daemon McClunan with The OptiShunt; and SAB Foundation Social Innovation
Project Manager, Ntandokazi Nodada*
In joint first place were, *Specialised Seating for Disabled Children and* The
*Innovator, Mpho Mohlolo, developed Specialised Seating for Disabled
Children*. These chairs and tray tables are custom built for children with
physical disabilities and are cost effective, strong and environmentally
*The OptiShunt*, designed by Dr Daemon McClunan, is an implantable device
that prevents blindness in glaucoma patients by draining excess fluid out
of the eye while equalising pressure between the eye and the optic nerve.
Glaucoma, an eye disease, is most severe among people in rural areas.
“Winning the SAB Foundation Disability Empowerment Award provides us with
the support we need to set the OptiShunt on a clear course to success,
radically disrupt the current treatment of glaucoma and making a big impact
in the fight against global blindness”, said Dr McClunan.
Third placed *ShowerBath* won R750 000, which will help Xelda Rohrbeck roll
out the use of a device which helps care-givers bath disabled individuals.
A combination of a shower and bathtub, the innovation eases the stress of a
caregiver as it eliminates electro-mechanical hoists and reduces the
physical strain of having caregivers manually lift the individual.
Since 2010, the SAB Foundation has identified, supported and helped to
scale social innovations which demonstrate a sustainable business model
while solving a critical social problem. “To date, we have committed over
R77 million towards promoting social innovation and supported 162
businesses that solve social issues and provide solutions to people with
disabilities. Over and above this we are proud that these businesses have
also created 614 jobs,” said SAB Foundation Director, Bridgit Evans.
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