CAPE TOWN - Usasazo High School in one of Cape Town's largest townships, Khayelitsha has been named the overall winner of the 2018 Eskom Simama Ranta awards which recognises high schools leading the way in fostering entrepreneurship across the country.
The school’s club, whose enterprise club was established in 2016 and has 46 members won a cash prize of R100,000, which they are going to use to grow their operations.
The school beat 27 other finalists to claim the top spot at the awards held at Indaba hotel in Johannesburg on Wednesday. A winning school was also named for each province and they each received a prize of R50,000 for their clubs.
The Eskom Simama Ranta entrepreneurship education competition, which is held annually, and is done in collaboration with the enterprise with education trust (EWET).
The competition is aimed at identifying and rewarding schools that are successfully implementing entrepreneurship education for their learners.
Usasazo club’s public relations officer, Nasiphi Bitshana, said they were shocked to be named the overall winner of the competition.
"We knew we had a chance but never expected to actually win. This makes us so proud and shows us that we are on the right track. We will definitely do more to grow and enhance our skills as we build towards our future as entrepreneurs," said Bitshana.
The chairman of the Eskom development foundation, Chose Choeu, said through this competition, Eskom seeks to empower young people and give them the skills to be able to create a better future for themselves.
"We need more job creators than job seekers. Simama Ranta seeks to unearth future entrepreneurs and help them gain the skills needed to make it in the world of business and this is one of the best catalysts for improving our economy," said Choeu.
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.
The Usasazo high school is a reflection of its club members’ diverse interests, skills and talents, the club has a wide variety of business interests.
They run a tuck shop, create and sell drawings and paintings, lease out gowns, manufacture and sell dustbins, organise talent shows, do modelling and screen movies at their school.
Over and above these, they also run outreach programmes including a water saving campaign, where they educate their community and other schools about the importance of saving water.