Here’s what you need to know about Google Impact Challenge’s top four winners

Image: Google Africa

Google South Africa recently announced the winners of the Google Impact Challenge, a first for SA. The competition sought to award economic opportunities as part of Google Africa’s growth initiative.

The initiative support nonprofit organisations and social enterprises to scale their respective social impact by awarding them funding as well as technical support.

Each of the four winners, announced on Wednesday, was awarded $250 000 (R3.4m). Rounding off the top four was MeMeZA, a public security system that won the people’s choice. The other three winners were selected through the judges' criteria that evaluated the community impact, innovativeness, reach and feasibility.

Judges included TV personality Maps Maponyane, activist and singer Simphiwe Dana, and entrepreneur and philanthropist Basetsana Kumalo.

Here is all you need to know about the winners:

Image: RLabs

RLabs Zlto Digital Platform

Founded by youth in Mitchells Plein, Zlto was birthed under RLabs which seeks to help youth find job opportunities. Through community work, this also allows youth to gain work experience that can be used when applying for jobs.

Gradesmatch

In an attempt to tackle high youth unemployment rates, Gradesmatch founders Unathi September, Rudzani Mulaudzi and Lebogang Diale empower learners and educators with quick and easy access to information on tertiary education. The app is designed to map out the relevant information on career choices for youth leaving high school.

Corruption Watch: Bua Mzansi

Launched under Corruption Watch, Bua Mzansi is an online site that seeks to enhance the public’s participation in the South African policing sector. The platform allows users to report incidents of police corruption, access information from a number of police stations and give a rating for each police station.

MeMeZa Shout Crime Prevention

The organisation was founded by Thulile Mthethwa, a software developer and social entrepreneur, after a family member was brutally attacked. Now choosing to fight crime through MeMeZa, she and her team use an alarm system the size of a key holder that links directly to the police. Since its conception in 2012, the device has helped reduce sexual offences by 67% in the Diepsloot area.

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