The South African Young Entrepreneurship Challenges, the chronicle of young innovators

Starting a business in a South Africa can be challenging. Young South Africans faced with a lack lust economy and low job prospects are turning to their innovations to create a future for themselves.

Starting a business in South Africa can be challenging  –  young entrepreneurs are met number of challenges, from navigating red tape to acquiring financing.

According to Bizmag, 50% of all start-up businesses in South Africa fail within 24 months of operations due to inability and inexperience of their owners.

We spoke to Abel Mukwevho a member of Entreprovate PTY Ltd – a group of innovators who created the “Hamelin Rat Trap”. Mukwevho said that they believe that their product can have meaningful impact on the economic and boost public health.

“The Challenges we faced in getting this far was mostly access to markets,” Mukwevho said. Penetrating the pest control market was not easy and the market is not open to innovation. With no business guidance, the group had to learn from failure.

The idea was birthed out of need, Johannesburg townships are usually faced with rat infestations. The young innovators used the internet for research and established a sucessful concept, which was able to produce sucessful results.

They believe that their innovation could be a game changer for of communities as rats put a huge burden on public health. They can also impede localised or self-farming in informal settlements and townships, says Mukweveho.

Small businesses in South Africa can help lift the countries economic burdens through job creation.


By: Mokgethi Mtezuka

China moves one step closer to creating competitor for the US GPS

China has moved one step closer to creating a rival for the US GPS. On 19 November China launched two new navigation satellites costing approximately $9 billion. China’s goal is to become more independent when it comes to Global Positioning Systems as well gain economically from this self-reliance.

China has already launched a satellite earlier this month and two satellites in October. The satellite array named the BeiDou Navigation System is expect to make up around 30 satellites is set to be completed by 2020. The BeiDou Navigation System is also a part of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.

China’s space aspiration also encompass sending a probe to the far side of the moon as well as launching a rover to mars by the year 2020 as reported by


By Mokgethi Mtezuka’

Future jobs that will be in demand in the next 5-10 years

The rise of artificial intelligence and automation will change and possible make obsolete a number of traditional jobs that many thought would last forever. Unfortunately this is not the case disruptive technologies are doing exactly that disrupting.

However, the end of old jobs will give rise to new jobs and new ideas which will dominate employment for the next 5-10 years. One of the new jobs that will come into the forefront Artificial Intelligence  and automation.

The number of robots is forecasted to explode in the next 10 years meaning new jobs will be created in the design, manufacture and maintenance of robots. This could very high paying jobs given the skill set required for that type of work.

An obvious job that will be one of the main job in the future will be computer scientist.  Being able to create program and design software that will be need for A.I and robots to function. Computer science will become a leading field to study and work.

The rise of automation will see traditional jobs like mining, logging, farming, shipping and refinement will be done sometime complete by machine or drones. This will leave in material management highly sort after for a skilled labour force.

Exports is predicted to become one of the biggest industries in the next decade with universities offering scholarship and ever increasing investment. Entertainment is another sector expected to explode as traditional jobs fall a way.

Real estate agents and developers will one of next to service automation as people will still need trusted real estate agents and agency for their housing purchase. Private services and elderly health care services as the populations age more emphasis will be put of health care service for sick and elderly.

Rural jobs, job which are located outside of major cities in rural areas less likely to be automated funding an investment in AI and automation will be concentrated in urban areas and cities.

Psychologist and therapist  with the rise of A.I and automation stress, depression and mental health could become more normalised leading to more demand in the field of health care and mental health care.


Image source:

Technology and the future of farming

In the next 20 years farming will have drastically changed all over the world, with new technologies coming into play and an increase in the size of global population increase demand on food. The advancement of technology and the spread of electrification have helped evolved farming to the current state it in today.

However, the future of farming though could see huge changes in terms of farm workers. New technologies like automation, artificial intelligence and drones slowly shape the farms of the future as well as hydro farming which will impact farming productivity and efficiency.

Technologies like automated tractors, pickers, shakers and sprinklers will changes how crops are made and how many farm workers are responsible for making those crops. Hydro- farming lowers the need for vast amount of land and water, meaning that farming in the future could also become less rural and more urbanised or localised inside city and buildings.

Drones are also cited as a technology which will help in monitoring crops and farm land, determining early which crops are ready for harvest or need more irrigation and fertiliser. Drones could target specific areas for pesticides dispersal ending the need for blanket spraying as well removing weeds without destroying any crops.

Sensors, cameras and smartphone advancement will also help farmers in vastly increase monitoring, productivity and cost of farming. Real-time data will also be collect on a large number of areas allowing farmers to maximise their efforts.

The future of farming could see entire farms from before crops are planted to monitoring and adjusting to when they are harvested become completely automated.



Image source: VDI Wissensforum


BRICS Education Agenda: Deepening BRICS Education Partnerships and Exchange

The grouping of the world’s fastest growing economies, BRICS has over the years being facing challenges in enhancing the quality of higher education through education centres. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa Ministers of education have annual meetings in an effort to deal with these challenges – established in 2013.

The 2018 BRICS Education Ministers summit, held in South Africa, Cape Town under theme; “Deepening BRICS Education partnerships and Exchange, ”led to a signing of an agreement aimed at tackling 21st century education challenges.

The Education Ministers meeting led to the following outcomes and agreements;

  • Access to education and training in BRICS states was expanding, and that countries face common challenges in promoting educational equity
  • The states made a commitment to strengthen collaboration in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) through, among others, sharing information and frameworks about development
  • Ministers agreed to support the coordination process for the BRICS Network University, as well as reaffirm the commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” that was set within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Promote the digitalisation and improvement of  education and training.

The collaboration of the BRICS can lead to the states being education powerhouses. The states also have own individual goals, which integrated could lead to development of education in the bloc. Brazil, Russia,India, China, South Africa higher education 2020 goals:

  • Brazil aims to award 60 000 masters degrees; 25 000 doctors degrees – the country through “science without borders” initiative a total of 100 000 are being awarded scholarships to study abroad.
  • China plans to have be a global education powerhouse
  • Russia aims at ensuring a high quality of Russia’s education in line with the needs of the population and goals of Russian society and economy. To this end specific objectives include creation of a flexible system of continuing education that is accountable to the society, and enhances human capital capable of addressing the current and prospective needs of social and economic development of Russia; development of an infrastructure, organisational and economic mechanisms ensuring equity of access to education services.
  • India aims to expand the Higher Education sector in all is modes of delivery to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher Education to 15% by 2011-12 to 21% by 2016-17 and 30% 
  • South Africa aims at allocations for fully subsidised higher education and training for poor and working-class students amount to R12.4-billion in 2018, R20.3-billion in 2019 and R24.3-billion in 2020.

The bloc has helped member countries tackle and coordinate approaches for tackling tertiary education challenges. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have since adopted the coalition’s education visions – they have stepped up student mobility amongst themselves, apart from in the global higher education market.

The Bloc has also established in 2016  university to university cooperation network – BRICS Network University.

The BRICS Network University (BRICS NU) is a network of the BRICS member countries’ higher education institutions engaged in cooperation and joining the BRICS NU (hereinafter BRICS NU participants).  
BRICS NU is an educational project aimed at developing, preferentially, bilateral/multilateral short-term joint training, master’s and PhD programmes along with joint research projects in various knowledge fields according to common standards and quality criteria.


By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

Women-in-BRICS: Russia Female Entrepreneur in India

It would be a mistake to think that the concept of housewife does not exist in Russia, but it is far from being a major trend. In India, Russian women married to Indians most often become housewives, especially at the initial stage of adjusting to a new life.

However, a growing number of them are finding corporate jobs, getting involved in part-time projects or working with non-governmental organisations (NGOs). A few Russian wives are even running their own businesses, inspiring others to be brave and daring too.


Her day starts with laundry. Dozens of bed sheets and towels are transported from her salon to her home, before being taken for bleaching, cleaning and drying. The same procedure has been followed every single day for the past five years. “I want to be sure that hygiene standards are met,” says Yuliya Pednekar, the owner of Oracle Salon in the Mumbai suburb of Malad. “This is something I cannot compromise on.”

It took Pednekar a long time to pluck up the courage to open her own business after coming to Mumbai from Almaty, Kazakhstan, with her Indian husband in 1997. A graduate in hospitality management, she kept searching for opportunities and finally got into the beauty sector, first as a make-up artist and then as a hairstylist.

“I didn’t have any education or training as a hairstylist when the manager, Lakme, offered me the job. The staff convinced me that I’d manage,” she recalls. “Well, I messed up a couple of times initially, but I believe that my innate sense of aesthetics helped me a lot.”

After six months of working for Lakme, Pednekar felt that she needed to perfect her newly acquired skills and went to Kazakhstan to study hairdressing. Not only did her education open up new opportunities on her return to India, it also instilled in her greater self-confidence.

Over the past few years, she has obtained the international CIDESCO and CIBTAC certificates – both prestigious qualifications in the aesthetics and beauty therapy industries. “My aim was to be independent from my husband, financially and practically – and to realise my potential, skills, talents and knowledge,” Pednekar says.

Today she manages a salon, leading a team of five beauticians. Although her husband is a proprietor of the company on paper, he hardly interferes in her business. “He deals with all paperwork, taxes and formalities, of course. With my artistic personality and chaotic work style, I would not be able to do such work,” she says.

 “There are other elements that disturb business too, from Mumbai’s municipal officials to quasi-mafia representatives collecting funds for religious festivals and political parties. I’ve learned how to deal with them with the help of my husband.”

Being a foreigner does not make it harder for Pednekar to run her business. Since she’s fluent in Marathi and Hindi, she manages her employees and customers with great ease. “Sometimes people are confused seeing a firangi (foreigner), but the moment you relate to them by discussing kids or Punjabi outfits, they accept you,” she says.

Pednekar believes that for the many young girls she employs, this work offers a different experience. “They feel safe and relaxed here, they explore the world through interacting with people,” she says. “I respect them and trust them. Although I know that bosses should behave differently, I just cannot.”

full article in BRICS Journal’s 6th Issue

China launches emergency farm inspections following swine fever outbreak

China’s Liaoning province plans to increase inspections at pig farms and markets and strengthen the monitoring of hog transportation. This comes after the first African swine fever case was reported in China.

According to an official from Liaoning Provincial Bureau of Animal Health and Production, the African swine fever outbreak poses a major threat to the hog farming industry in the province and the country.

The provincial government has asked local authorities to launch emergency inspections at all pig farms, hog markets, slaughterhouses and harmless treatment sites in the province.

Citizens are advised to report cases of pig deaths due to unknown reasons, and immune failure among pigs after receiving swine fever vaccines.

The Liaoning province ordered the temporary closure of all live hog markets and slaughterhouses in Shenbei district, where the outbreak was discovered.

The animal health bureau official said hogs and products in Shenyang can only be distributed within the city, while those transported from outside must go through strict quarantine.

The case in Liaoning, the first in East Asia, has fuelled concern about its spread in China, which has the world’s largest pig herd, and possibly to neighbouring countries in Asia.

Japan has suspended imports of heat-treated Chinese pork and tightened quarantine operations at airport and seaports, following the outbreak.

Source: Liaoning Daily

100 Men March against women and children violence


The 100 Men March that took place in Pretoria on Tuesday was a call to action by women’s rights groups, religious society, the police and government officials. The march started in Church Square and ended at the Union Builds with the signing of a pledge and the lighting of a torch.


The goal of the march was to make men aware of the responsibility to prevent violence against women and children, to help in making sure women and children feel safe again, feel safe to be in the cities, to use public transport, at home and to feel safe around men.




A strong ANC contingent was also present at the March with the slogan #TumaMina as a rally cry for men to stand up against violence. Police Minister Bheki Cele, Minister of Communication Nomvula Mokonyane and Minister of Social development Bathabile Dlaminirepresented government.

Many religious leaders and rights groups have called for the #100MenMarch to be an annual event for as long as the scourge of women and child abuse continues. A pledge to end violence against women and children was signed, which states “Change begins with me, and I can motivate others to end violence against women and children”.


All the signee’s pledged: “to help break the culture of silence that accompanies violence and abuse, not to commit violence, and to act when I see violence against women and children and to teach those in my care the values of human dignity, equality and respect”.



South African Police trainees also marched to the Union Buildings, and were told to never turn away abused women and children. Total Shut Down, a women and gender equality rights group spoke vehemently about the lack of statistics and accountability in the police force regarding the protection of protect women, children, LGBQ and transgender people.



By MokgethiMtezuka

Dr Judy Dlamini and Dr Zanelle Mngadi vie for first black female chancellor of Wits

University of the Witwatersrand has confirmed that Dr Judy Dlamini and Dr Zanelle Mngadi have emerged as the candidates to replace former chief justice Dikgang Moseneke. 

The announcement comes after the university made a call for nominations to fill the chancellor vacancy in April 2018.

The Director of alumni relations at Wits, Peter Maher said: “Of the two candidates‚ it is guaranteed that one will be the next chancellor”.

Moseneke’s term ends in November this year, and the university hopes to fill the position before then.

Head of Communications at the university, Shirona Patel and the Director Maher confirmed that around 160‚000 graduates‚ full-time academic stuff‚ and retired academics with 10 consecutive years of service with the university‚ make up the university’s largest statutory body of persons eligible to participate in the election process.

Dlamini is a businesswoman‚ entrepreneur‚ author and philanthropist. She holds an MBChB (Natal)‚ DOH (UFS)‚ MBA (Wits) and DBL (Unisa).

Mngadi is an academic and renowned turn-around strategist. Her qualifications include: a BComm (Hons), an LLB, MCom‚ MBA and PhD.

Source: businesslive

#TravelTuesday : Claim To Fame

Brazil is home to the biggest carnival in the world, and the Rio Carnival sees over 2-million people per day on the city’s streets.

Russia is home to the world’s longest rail journey – the Trans-Siberian. It starts in Moscow and ends in Vladivostok, with the train crossing several time zones. In addition to the endless birch forests of Siberia, the scenery includes the Ural Mountains and Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Distance 5,753 miles while duration is in six days.

India has the largest postal network in the world with over 155, 015 post offices. A single post office on average serves a population of 7,175 people. The country is also home to the world’s only floating post office, which has been operating in Dal Lake, Srinagar since August 2011. 

China is where toilet paper was invented, with simple but much-needed product’s origins dating back to the pre-1300s, when it was exclusively for the emperor’s use.

South Africa is home to the world’s largest bird (ostrich), largest mammal (bull elephant), smallest mammal (dwarf shrew), largest reptile (leatherback sea turtle : 1,500 pounds), largest earthworm (African giant earthworm), fastest animal (cheetah ), tallest animal (giraffe) and the largest fish (whale shark).