Talk of the Town
Ekuphumleni innovation centre launched
The Ekuphumleni Multipurpose Community Centre, aimed at helping develop young entrepreneurs through innovation and technology, was recently handed over to Ndlambe Municipality by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, departments of science and innovation and human settlements, the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and Nelson Mandela University.
The centre, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is part of the Ndlambe EcoSun Green Village project.
The village will include 10 houses for elderly beneficiaries, which are being built by the Eastern Cape human settlements department.
The German ministry officially handed over the water treatment and renewable energy technologies that will help make the village sustainable on its own.
Department of science acting chief director of innovation for inclusive development, Tshepang Mosiea, said the multipurpose centre would serve as a digital and innovation hub for unemployed youth.
Mosiea said the department would provide programmes to assist unemployed people.
“We support a lot of young people who are entrepreneurs through our programmes like grassroots innovation,“Mosiea said.
“This is when a young person designs an app to support or assist with a particular problem or a technology to help schools around something.
“They will find that kind of support here.
“Young people have these ideas, but they do not get the support.”
Mosiea also said the community would be provided with Wi-Fi access by a reliable company.
He said stable and reliable Wi-Fi services had been provided in rural areas near Mthatha.
Mosiea said the department would
provide a stipend to young applicants with bright innovate ideas.
“We want to make this a digital hub. If you want to access the internet or you want to compile a CV, you must be able to access those things here.
“There is a technology acquisition and deployment fund if they have got technologies, maybe around waste management – or we will bring technologies to help them with waste management.
“For example, there are a lot of gadgets from old computers or cellphone cells that young people must own up, and [create] businesses [with],” he said.
He also explained the water
treatment technology donated by the German ministry.
“The water filtration technology is to filter water, as well as [recycle] grey water from washing dishes and other stuff.
“The water will come here in a
separate pipe and gets cleaned and goes back to be reused, not for drinking but for flushing the toilets. In that way we will manage water usage,” he said.
Mosiea said it was also planned to use solar panels and other forms of renewable energy at the village.
“We have got solar panels in the multipurpose centre which will be used to power the centre.
“There will be battery storages for homes.
“We are still looking for options. “A house does not have to depend on Eskom. Eskom electricity is very expensive.”
The 10 houses are under construction and should be finished
next year, according to project facilitator Dr Noluthando Vithi Masiza.
Masiza added that the beneficiaries had been selected from the list of people who were shortlisted for RDP houses.
Explaining the partnership between the different stakeholders, Masiza said each had contributed towards a certain aspect of the project.
For example, she said the Multipurpose Centre’s innovative technologies were funded by the German ministry, and the human settlements department was building the 10 houses.
Ndlambe Municipality was tasked with managing the centre.
We support a lot of young people who are entrepreneurs through our programmes like grassroots innovation