Helen Zille, premier of the Western Cape, is asking private and public stakeholders to come up with new technology that improves living conditions for the poor in South Africa’s slums, according to a report in AllAfrica.
Zille unveiled the Better Living Challenge, a project of the Western Cape government’s 110% Green campaign.
The challenge will be a recognized project of the World Design Capital 2014. Cape Town won the bid for 2014 World Design Capital designation. The organization promotes the accomplishments of cities that have used design as a tool to reinvent themselves and improve social, cultural and economic life.
The Better Living Challenge aims to mobilize business, academic and public sector players to design new green and alternative solutions for informal and subsidy housing.
This special public challenge will entail creating homes that feature new technological designs involving collaboration between companies, universities, designers, marketers, retailers and financiers.
The challenge also aims to open up a marketplace for green solutions, the report said.
“With the right policies, we can promote job-creating growth and development and create replicable innovations that can be spread throughout the continent and beyond,” Zille said. “In all of this, the role of the government is to make it easy to be an entrepreneur and not be an obstacle to innovation.”
Walter Baets, director of the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, said, “We want to focus on bringing together on-the-ground knowledge with the brightest minds to come up with solutions for Africa.”
The business school partnered with Cape Town’s Victoria and Alfred Waterfront to raise funds from foundations and corporations for the challenge.
Victoria and Alfred CEO David Green said, “Economic growth requires business leaders and business schools to work together with partners to create a supportive environment that fosters enterprise business development in our country. Significant job creation will come from entrepreneurship and innovation.”