Category Archives: Uncategorized

#InspiringFifty South Africa 2018 nominations open on IWD

Call for nominations are now open for #InspiringFiftySA 2018

This year marks the second edition of #InspiringFiftySA, an initiative that benchmarks and awards the 50 most inspiring women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). In celebration of International Women’s Day, the call for nominations has officially opened. The initiative is by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Cape Town.

“The African tech ecosystem is growing exponentially. This is re-shaping the South African
economy as technology and innovation are leapfrogging beyond established technology, ideas,
and infrastructure. The instrumental role played by women in this sector should be made more
visible on a local and global level. These women are the inspiring role models for the future.
Inspiring Fifty South Africa allows us to create a platform for these women in technology,
showing our girls that they can do the same,” says Bonnie Horbach, the Netherlands Consul
General in Cape Town. The collaboration forms part of the Dutch campaign in South Africa,
named #cocreateSA.

Last year #InspiringFiftySA received 252 nominations of which fifty amazing women were
awarded the #InspiringFifty accolade. Amongst these women were Adriana Marais, Aisha
Pandor, Nunu Ntshingila, Portia Maurice, Mickey Mashale, Magda Wierzycka and Yolisa Kani.
What makes this award different, is that it includes women who paving the way in government,
education and the corporate space, to empower girls aspiring a career in STEM.

“To be recognised for doing inspiring work is one thing, but to do so while being featured
alongside the amazing Inspiring Fifty SA women was simply incredible! The initiative introduced
me to incredibly smart and bold women who inspired me to continue being the same. The 2017
cohort proved that there’s a plethora of women doing world class work in STEM and I’m only
excited to meet the nominees for Inspiring Fifty SA 2018. I hope the new nominees jump at the
opportunity!” – Lethabo Motswaledi, winner of the 2017 Inspiring Fifty SA and Co-founder of 3D

“Being an #InspiringFiftySA judge exposed me to a high caliber of women in the SA tech space
that I didn’t even know existed. It was tough to choose as I was in awe of the 270 nominations
from all over SA. I made new connections with very powerful women in Tech. I believe South Africa has a great pool of role models that need to be exposed to girls and #InspiringFiftySA is
doing exactly that,” said Baratang Miya, #InspiringFiftySA 2017 Judge and Founder of GirlHype.

“​#InspiringFiftySA is a valuable initiative which allows young girls and boys from all walks of life
to see role models across the STEM fields who they can aspire to be. It showcases the
abundance of hard work and talent which our country possesses. Personally for me
#InspiringFiftySA gave me access to a network of women who share the same value of making
our country a better place in growing the STEM field,” said Dr Mmaki Jantjies, winner of #InspiringFiftySA and Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Information Systems,
Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape.

To meet the criteria, a nominee has to be a founder of a technology company; or hold a position in a C-Level position in a technology company; or be an influencer, academic or politician in the technology or innovation space. Inspiring Fifty encourages South Africans and the technology eco-system to nominate their most inspiring female role models.

To nominate your most inspiring women in tech, visit
For more information on Inspiring Fifty, visit

One million maths exercises completed on Siyavula’s online learning platform

One million maths exercises completed on Siyavula’s online learning platform

[Cape Town] 25 October 2017: Learners in Grades 8-12 around the country completed one million maths exercises on Siyavula Education’s online learning platform in October – meeting the target of the #1MillionMaths Challenge ahead of schedule, one week before 31 October. The #1MillionMaths Challenge was launched by Siyavula and at the end of September in a nation-wide drive to promote maths revision and practice for final exams. Siyavula made its platform accessible for free to every single learner in Grades 8-12 in Sout

Siyavula maths challenge participants

h Africa both during and after the challenge – removing the R599 annual subscription fee until 15 December. This means that the huge numbers of learners who signed on to use the tool for free in October will still be able to benefit until after exams are over. But the really big news is that this is just a taste of things to come: the first 150,000 users from low-fee public schools will receive free access for the entirety of 2018 thanks to sponsorship from, which gave Siyavula a $1.5 million grant in July this year.

To stand a chance to receive one of the 150 000 Google-sponsored subscriptions for 2018, learners can visit the Siyavula website at, register for a trial account and redeem the following access code: siyavula-one-million-maths. This code will grant them premium access until 15 December. There are still two more weeks of prizes to be given out, including iPads, Samsung Galaxy phones, airtime, vouchers and the grand prize of a MacBook laptop. We invite learners to join the Siyavula Facebook page to monitor our progress and stay up to date.

MTN announces winners of Women in ICT Partnership for Change Awards

MTN last week announced the winners in the second annual Women in ICT Partnership for Change Awards at a glittering event held in Sandton.

The Awards were hosted by MTN in partnership with Kagiso Media and ITWeb Brainstorm and seek to accelerate the participation of women in the sector through recognising and rewarding those who have made a significant contribution to it.

The Leadership Recognition Award went to Carol Thomas, CIO of the South African Civil Aviation Authority. Technical director at Aurecon Rene Pearson won the Innovator Recognition Award. The SME Recognition Award went to Matua Ramapuputla, CEO of Moepi Publishing. Founder of The Click Foundation Martine Shaffer, won the Community Builder Recognition Award.

Dr HF Swanepoel, who was unfortunately not on hand to receive her award, won the Lifetime Achiever Award. Dr Swanepoel is the Chief Technologist at Eskom Group’s Technology Engineering Division.

ITWeb’s Paula Gilbert and Simnikiwe Mzekandaba jointly won the Excellence in ICT Journalism Award. MTN’s Group CEO and President Rob Shuter handed the CEO’s Award to MTN employee Fatima Mayet. Awards judge Charmaine Houvet from Cisco won the Ministerial Recognition Award.


Wits Navigator Challenge – entry deadline extended


Wits University’s Disability Rights Unit (DRU) assists over 1000 students and staff each year. Almost a third of these are physically or visually impaired. While Wits University’s campuses meet very high standards of accessibility for those with disabilities, it remains difficult for some disabled students to navigate around Wits.

The Wits Campus Personal Navigator Challenge aims to develop innovative systems that will increase the independence of students with visual and physical disabilities by providing them with a “personal navigator” around Wits’ vast campuses. The system should be able to safely guide a visually impaired or a physically impaired student from one location to another by using predefined safe accessible routes.

The system could be a simple standalone device that attaches to a walking cane or wheelchair or be a wearable device (e.g. wristband). This unique navigation system may work independently or in conjunction with relevant existing and/or future systems (software, apps, maps, etc.) to provide visual/audible directions and information to the student. To do this the proposed system might use multiple sensors installed at key points on campus which will provide location information and alerts to the base unit installed on a walking cane/ wheelchair/wearable device.

The aim of the Challenge is to assist successful entrants in turning a great idea into a viable tech startup. The top 10 ideas will have an opportunity to work in Wits University’s new startup incubator in the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein. The winner of the Challenge will spend 4 weeks working in a partner incubator in Canada, USA, Netherlands, UK or India.

The Challenge is open to all – not only Wits Students – and is being run by the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) with sponsorship from the Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation.



Click here for more detailed information on the event.