GTP awards student innovation

Noluvuyiso Sixolo, Khazimla View Gqwede and Rutagengwa Michel Mukabero receive their prize.

Three students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Bellville have each won R1 000 in a competition to make student residences safer.

The students, Noluvuyiso Sixolo, Khazimla View Gqwede and Rutagengwa Michel Mukabero all stay in De Goede Hoop house in Stikland came up with a phone app idea that can be used to alert the police when a student is in trouble. 

Ms Sixolo said: “Our idea is to design a tracking app that will be linked to a phone by a wristband that the student wears while they are out in public. The wristband will detect when somebody screams and the phone will also have a recording device that can be used as evidence for the police.” 

She said the trio came up with the idea after hearing about the challenge and they decided to come up with the idea that is easy to use and allow victims to have direct access to the police. 

Ms Gqwede said: “Due to the high rate of crime in the country, we felt that we needed to create a system that will allow the victims to get some much needed closure after they are a victim of crime. With the recording device, the police will have voice and at times a video that will help them immediately identify the attacker.” 

As part of the prize the team, they also get a business incubation package, offered by Woodstock-based viral business platform, The Startup Hatchery, which could help them turn their idea into reality.

The winning team’s residence will also get 10 new laptops, which can be used by the students that can be used by all the students who live there.  

Ms Sixolo said they hoped to find a company to help them produce a prototype.

“At the moment there is no prototype of our idea, which at the moment is just there in theory. We are hoping now that we can attract companies to sponsor us which will ultimately lead to its design.”

GTP chief executive Warren Hewitt said he was pleased with the ideas created by the students and was also encouraged by the amount of entrants. 

“Like any city centre, Bellville is affected by crime. One of the criteria for the winning idea is that it can be implemented and commercialised. Our partnership with Startup Hatchery enables that to be a real possibility, in which the ideas are nurtured and realised and then replicated to make our streets safer for everyone, not just in Bellville, but all over the country and beyond.”

Two other teams, from Park Central’s Regkam House in Oakdale and Stellenbosch University’s Francie van Zijl House in Bellville each won a cash prize of R1 000.