Business Insider Edition

SA kids can win R500,000 in cash for their water inventions – as long as they don’t go to a private school

Phillip de Wet , Business Insider SA
 Aug 07, 2018, 02:39 PM
  • A new competition offers R500,000 in cash and bursaries to grade 9 and 10 pupils for coming up with cheap ways to harvest water.
  • Entries open next week.
  • But private schools need not apply.


An individual learner, or a group of up to three, can win R50,000 in cash and R450,000 in bursaries for an idea to cheaply harvest water in a new competition – but terms and conditions apply.

The first Envisionit E-Prize, funded by the financial services company with the same name, opens for entries next week. The company hopes to solve a number of local or global issues with big prizes as an incentive. 

First up: a water-harvesting challenge worth R1 million in total.

Individuals or groups of no more than three learners (with a maximum of two entries per school) will be asked to come up with a detailed concept for cost-effective water-harvesting. Those concepts must be presented to a judging panel in English. 

Those who pass initial judging will be asked to build a prototype capable of producing at least 50 litres of water a day at a maximum cost of 5c per litre.

The prototype must be 75% made of recyclable materials "that are readily accessible and durable".

In the initial phase the judging criteria are heavily skewed towards innovation and originality, but the final prototypes will be largely judged on their sustainability and practicality.

Besides the winner (or winners') R500,000, a second-place individual will get R30,000 in cash and R270,000 in bursaries, and third place comes with R20,000 cash and R180,000 in bursaries.

But the competition rules are clear: the prize is only open to public schools and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls; private and independent schools need not apply. 

Entries for the initial concept close on 1 December.

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