Fabian Kannemeyer of the Business Advisory Board gave an introductory speech for the event. He mentioned that Enactus is currently helping in 36 countries and approximately two billion people are impacted by Enactus. Kannemeyer told the Enactus UP team to “go out there and fly the UP flag high”.
Enactus vice-president Felix Oloo said that he is very excited for the championships. Noluthando Tsoko, an Enactus UP executive committee member, explained that a project goes on for as long as Enactus is needed to be a part of it. Tsoko also said, “The whole point of Enactus UP is that we are not here to do charity – [we are] not going in and out and once you are out, the people are still depending on you. It’s teaching people how to be dependent on themselves, teaching people how to help other people and sustain the people.”
Enactus UP started out in 2009 and is organised by Dr Rina Wilken. Enactus UP has won two previous national championships, participated in five finals and competed in the semi-finals at the Enactus World Cup.
The Enactus SA National Championships group stages were held on 22 July, with the semi-finals and final on 23 July. The final consisted of four teams, where they competed for the winning title. A total of 26 institutions around South Africa took part in the Enactus SA National Championship this year. The championship was held in Sandton, Johannesburg.
The Enactus UP team received an overall third place at the championships.
The Enactus UP team received two thematic awards. They took 1st place in their league for Entrepreneurial Action and 2nd place in their league for Nedbank Triple Bottom Line and Sustainability.
The Enactus UP team received a standing ovation at the end of their project presentation. The audience was especially impressed with the Rethaka project. This project used recyclable plastic bags to make schoolbags for underprivileged children. The bag included a solar light so that the children can use it to do homework at night.
Dr Rina Wilken, the UP faculty advisor, won the 2015 Faculty Advisor of the Year award. Anthony Townsend won the Alumni of the Year award.
During the question and answer session, a judge asked the team what the biggest lesson that the team had learnt during their programmes was. Enactus UP president Amina Akoo replied that they learnt “how to step out of their comfort zone”.
The University of Zululand received 2nd place. The University of KwaZulu-Natal was crowned as the Enactus South Africa 2015 National Champions. They will represent South Africa during the Enactus World Cup from 14-16 October in Johannesburg.
The Enactus team. Image provided.