Team Memeza won in the Internet of Things category. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - South Africa’s biggest socio-economic challenges came to an end with the announcement of the winners of the State Information Technology Agency’s (SITA) countrywide #NDP2030hackathon.

The three-day final leg of the SITA hackathon took place at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, from 30 November to 2 December 2018. 

The four prize categories were the internet of things, code jam, data science, and from the Film and Publication Board.

The following 12 teams emerged as the winners at the high-profile prize-giving ceremony on Sunday evening:

Internet of Things (IOT)

1. Team Memeza
2. Water Telemetry System – Josiah and team
3. Zama and team Sanitiser Concept

Code Jam: 

1. Digitising SAPS form Vonnelize and team
2. Road to health app Nom Cebo
3. Project Insight Team Vision

Data Science:

1. Deep Health
2. Blessing Application of Big Data and Analytics
3. Tech Mates

Film and Publication Board App: 
1. Kopanong Secondary School
2. IT Spartans
3. Rural Brands
The winners in each category walked away with substantial cash prizes,  that they will be given once their solutions have been developed: R100 000 for the winning teams; R50 000 for those in second place; and R30 000 for the third-placed teams.

The winning solutions can make a real difference to people’s lives, and will be developed, tested and deployed by the government for the good of all South Africans, according to SITA.

Entries were open to citizens of all ages, disciplines and walks of life. The participating teams, each consisting of three to five members, did not need programming or data-science experience, and the finalists were assisted by mentors to fine-tune their proposals.

The hackathon was attended by SITA’s industry partners and Board members.

The judges had to assess over the course of the weekend whether the shortlisted proposals addressed real socio-economic challenges. They also considered the contestants’ analytical skills and whether their proposed solutions were achievable, and looked at the proposals’ potential impact and sustainability.

Many of the contestants identified the need for better, more efficient government services and proposed the development of applications to achieve this.

The SITA Chief Executive, Dr. Setumo Mohapi’s said, "Our country, our nation and development matters, and therefore SITA will continue to create the kind of development we envisage as outlined in the NDP.  This hackathon has been particularly exciting as SITA ensured that South African learners are exposed to the possibilities of being solution developers and designers. 

The solutions including those from the learners as winners - will be showcased in the next leg of the hackathon in 2019. And we hope that investors will bite; and be interested in their development as part of furthering ICT public and private sector partnership’s.

"We are also very grateful to all who were part of this process, including the sponsors MTN, Sqwuidnet, Huawei and Microsoft," said Mohapi.