6 South African start-ups shaking things up
Afropolitans are undeterred and our focus is second to none. South Africans are no strangers to innovation and creating opportunities to drive change. The start-ups featured below are driven by passion. Whether through a desire to transform sport, or a need to document and share young South Africa as it evolves, these start-ups are making an impact.
- CONNECT Community Development
CONNECT Community Development is a non-profit company working in the community of Khayelitsha in Cape Town. For years the organisation has focused on community and skills development in the area. CONNECT Sports Academy, which focuses on development and transformation in three key sports: rugby, chess and boxing, is the one of the key projects and successes for the company.
The Sports Academy has seen a lot of success: they won a bronze medal in their touch rugby league, and two of their players played for Western Cape rugby in the national inter-provincial tournament, making it all the way to the final. One of their boxers, Asemahle Sentile, is two-time South African champion.Funding, however, is a problem. Find out more about CONNECT and how you can help here.
Rethaka is the social, for-profit organisation behind Repurpose schoolbags. Repurpose schoolbags are made from recycled plastic shopping bags. The concept is simple: there are many children who walk to school; those very children depend on alternative, often dangerous, sources of light like paraffin lamps.
Attached to the bag is a solar panel that charges up while the kids walk to and from school. When they get home, the panel is then fitted to a glass jar which works as a lamp to help the students study. The bag also has reflective material that helps the kids be visible on the road early in the morning or in case of misty conditions.
Repurpose works with companies and individuals who purchase the bags to donate to schools. Find out more here.
- Unlabelled Magazine
Unlabelled Magazine is a South African youth culture online magazine. Founded by Phendu Kuta in 2014, Unlabelled Magazine captures and showcases the many different and intersecting narratives of being young in South Africa today through beautiful photography, style and culture.
What does a young South African look like in 2015? Where are the youth headed? These are just some of the questions UnlabelledMagazine endeavours to answer. Read it here.
- Skinny Sbu Socks
SibusisoNgwenya’s business was born from his own needs: he’s a tall guy whose trousers never could go quite the distance. He began compensating for this short-coming with colourful socks. Soon, he began selling pairs from his personal collection and that’s how Skinny Sbu Socks was born. By 2013,Ngwenya began producing his own socks all of which are produced locally. View the collection here.
- RHTC Online Store
RHTC is an online store that delivers South African streetwear brands across the country. Founded by MpumeleloMfula, RHTC has over the years gone beyond the scope of streetwear though, currently stocking books, accessories, and Ntombenhle dolls and hosting workshops. View the brands on offer and read all about their workshops here.
- GiraffeGiraffe believes that unemployment is one of the most pressing issues in South Africa, and seeks to resolve it by creating a free mobile recruitment agency that allows job-seekers to easily post their CVs to a database using their cellphones.The portal doesn’t even require a smartphone: applying is as easy as sending an SMS. Giraffe then puts jobseekers in touch with companies seeking employees, setting up interviews and helping them land jobs.
Find out more about Giraffe here.