Low-cost security system wins Santam’s R150,000 startup prize

A cost-effective security system aimed at low income families was the winner of the inaugural Santam and Stellenbosch University “Safety Ideas Campaign”.

Jonga was created to make home security accessible to everyone and not just to a few who can afford it, according to creators Ntando Shezi and Ntsako Mgiba.

The device is made up of two parts – a hardware section that is mounted on the wall and a software component that is used either a smartphone app or SMS notification – depending on the type of cellphone the user has.

When activated, the hardware will sense movement where it is set up and send a notification to the connected phone, asking the user if they are expecting anyone.

If the user responds that they are not expecting someone, the system sends notifications to neighbours, alerting them to what’s happening in the house.

The application allows users to see if the unit is armed/ disarmed, check the status of the unit, or activate the unit.

It’s also possible to notify the SAPS directly.

Other winners

Santam’s Safety Campaign encouraged South Africans from all walks of life to put forward innovative ideas and concepts that have the potential to help keep South Africans safe.

The campaign, which was launched in July last year, generated more than 150 entries from across South Africa.

The entrants were competing for an incubation prize valued at R150,000 as well as the possibility of the working prototypes being turned into viable business ventures.

The Department of Trade and Industry was also directly involved with the department’s director of innovation and technology, Nontombi Marule, acting as one of the judges.

“The Department of Trade and Industry is excited to be a part of this initiative as it is perfectly aligned with the strategy we have established to encourage South Africans to put forward ideas to solve problems and build businesses using those ideas,” Marule said.

“Through this programme, Santam is stimulating innovation and encouraging enterprise development which is key to contributing significantly to small businesses and the economy at large.”

“We believe small businesses are the engine for the economy and it excites us that this initiative is driven by a big player in the industry.”

Alongside Jonga, the final three contenders in the Santam Safety Campaign were:

  • Mbulelo Mpofana of TrafficEye – an insurer-independent app-based insurance telematics solution that provides users with greater control over their telematics data;
  • Jonathan Shutte and Dieter Zermatten of Bomvu Stake Initiative –  a programme that captures statistical data to highlight regions with high accident fatalities; and
  • Tharina de Lange of Guardian Angel Safe Zone – a conceptual, wearable proximity-based tag to track the GPS location of loved ones.

Read: These are some of the cool new technologies Absa is working on

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Low-cost security system wins Santam’s R150,000 startup prize