Bellville South Learners Return from Competition in Shanghai
Not only did they come fifth overall, but they also took top honors, outshining youth from fifty countries, for their environmental and community outreach programmes.
The team; Elton Emtoch, Roseleen Mottie, Levieke Petersen, Daniel Ntsiyane, Megan Christians and Ashleigh Booysen won the national leg of the Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) competition.
Using recycled materials, they make and sell goods like jewellery boxes, pillow cases, placemats, candleholders, and lamps. The also play a pivotal role in their community by caring for and entertaining Seniors, which includes washing their hair, home-care, providing company for HIV-positive children, and distributing food.
"Great things are happening in our country every day and it is driven by great people," Minister Essop said in her congratulations to the team, principal and educators. After winning the competition the school had to scramble to raise R120 000 within a matter of weeks. Most of the team's parents are unemployed.
After raising half the money, they approached the Provincial Government for assistance. As Provincial Minister of both Environmental Affairs and Economic Development, Minister Essop saw the potential of the school's project.
"Entrepreneurial flair is the key to economic development, especially amongst our young people. "The work done by Bellville South High fits in with both my Environmental and Economic Development portfolios, but more importantly we are promoting the environmental economy, as we believe it is the next big economy in the world.
"The challenges we face globally is because of the impacts of Climate Change and because of how we have treated the earth. "The fact that you recognised the recycling industry to drive your business shows a clear alignment with what we as Government want to achieve. You have used your entrepreneurial skills in the environmental economy."
When informed of the school's need, Minister Essop contacted Thabit Gool of African Fleet Solutions (Afsol) and MTN who immediately pledged their support and collectively they made up the R50 000 shortfall.
Mr Gool congratulated the children and commended the school and principal on their drive and foresight. "It is an honor to be associated with Bellville South High," he said.
Beverly Wilson of MTN said MTN was proud to support development of entrepreneurship amongst the youth as they will play a vital role in the future economic growth of the country. Principal Vincent Vester thanked Minister Essop, Mr Gool and MTN for coming through for the school.
Bellville South High is located in one of the poorest parts of the City of Cape Town. Mr Vester believes in finding solutions to challenges and not seeing them as problems. He encourages his learners to get involved with extra-mural activities.
Media Liasion Officer Ms Tasneem Essop
Provincial Minister: Environment, Planning and Economic Development
Phone: 483 3915 Fax: 483 6081