Heeding the President‘s challenge to South Africa’s youth to craft and design programmes that will make the country reach its developmental goals and address the unemployment crisis, Minister of environment, forestry and fisheries, Barbara Creecy announced 13 successful projects who will be benefiting from the Driving Force for Change initiative.
The initiative was established for projects that tackle issues of climate change, waste management and biodiversity loss. The announcement was made on the 26th of November at the South African National Biodiversity Institute in Pretoria.
“Today’s initiative intends to translate concepts into bankable business ideas to explore unchartered territories through research and development, to incubate and nurture innovation and technology, to equip our youth with the necessary skills sets and capacity so that their projects have a positive impact on the environment,” said Creecy.
More than 250 applications were received for the initiative, across the four themes – namely, climate change adaptation, climate change mitigation, biodiversity and ecosystems, and waste management solutions.
The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries set aside a total of R1m to enable the selected youth projects to implement ideas that support young innovators and entrepreneurs who want to create a more environmentally friendly economy and society.
“Our international partners have been generous in providing technical and financial support for our initiative. We have received an additional financial contribution of R300,000 from the British High Commission. This has allowed us to increase our number of winners to 13. The German Technical Agency is ready to provide technical support to the project winners and training in business acumen,” added Creecy.