Team's rural project rocks

07 October 2009 | Story by Newsroom

Team RuralrocksRocking on: Rural Rocks are (from left, seated) Naadia van der Bergh, Mluleki Mnguni, Allison Kasozi, and (from left, standing) Doreen Nabaho and Bernelle Verster.

Rural Rocks, a team of five postgraduate chemical engineering students, are the winners of the UCT round of the Sanlam inter-university Creativity for Progress Competition.

Sanlam introduced this competition last year to find practical solutions to the socio-economic challenges facing South Africa.

Five UCT teams competed on this year's theme, 'Rural areas are failing to retain and attract skilled people and graduates, resulting in economic stagnation. How would you remedy this?' The projects had to be practical, innovative and implementable, as well as deliverable on a shoe-string budget.

Rural Rocks looked to foster innovation through the efficient use of nutrients, and by closing the nutrient cycle through solid waste management. They will do this by collaborating with research centres and government support structures, while being financially sustainable.

"It's only the beginning," said the team. "We feel elated about winning this competition at UCT level, but want to take it further. We hope that these ideas can be implemented by whoever feels up to it. We would like to see rural areas developed from the bottom up, to empower communities from within themselves. We are grateful that Sanlam gave us this opportunity to put our ideas into action."

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