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Will Kayamandi be the first smart town in South Africa?


While Stellenbosch in the Western Cape is well-known for its wine, the neighbouring Kayamandi is currently on track to become South Africa’s first smart township. This is described as an innovative community in which a combination of high- and low-tech solutions play a critical role in addressing digital inequality.

Stellenbosch Network has teamed up with Lunttu, Ranyaka, Stellenbosch University, the Regional Innovation Support Programme, and Stellenbosch Municipality to help Kayamandi become an intelligent township.

Now, they have started the #IdeasForChange challenge, a competition to find and develop new ideas, business models, process flows, and technologies that could improve the lives of Kayamandi’s residents.

Stellenbosch Network hopes that this will make it easier for people to be included in social and economic life and help make cities more resilient for future generations.

Stellenbosch Network, Operation Manager Hanli Brink, said the communities in South Africa that are the most underserved have not yet reached their full potential in terms of the ability of technology to speed up inclusive socioeconomic development.

As a group working to increase knowledge creation, resource sharing, and innovation in the Stellenbosch area and recognizing the need to help the people of Kayamandi, We believe that it is time to extend the scope of our operations beyond the centre of the town. We want to work with committed members of the local community to help turn Kayamandi into its modern centre of economic growth and activity.

Stellenbosch has become one of the fastest-growing places in South Africa in the past few years. Because of a thriving innovation ecosystem and growth in sectors that add value, the town’s economy has grown steadily, unemployment has gone down, and human development and service delivery have gone up.

Stellenbosch has become one of the fastest-growing places in South Africa in the past few years. Because of a strong innovation ecosystem and growth in sectors that add value, the town has seen steady economic growth, a drop in unemployment, and an increase in human development and service delivery.

By 2020, the town’s reputation had been firmly established after it had been acknowledged, together with Franschhoek and Paarl, as the third most valuable district in the nation.

But even though Stellenbosch has become the prosperous crown jewel of the Cape Winelands, the nearby suburb of Kayamandi is often forgotten.

 So, residents may live near one of South Africa’s best technology and science communities, but they don’t have the same access to public services and opportunities. As a result, one of Stellenbosch’s most under-served communities hasn’t reached its full potential.

The #IdeasForChange challenge runs until Sunday, November 20, 2022. It is open to all people and businesses in Stellenbosch and the surrounding areas who live, work, or go to school there. All contestants get free access to an online value proposition masterclass that will help them improve their ideas and business pitches.

Then, applicants will be able to enter one of two categories: the first is for brand-new ideas, and the second is for already up-and-running businesses. The finalists in both categories will be chosen by a mix of public votes and input from a panel of experts. The winner will get R20,000 in cash, while the second place will get R6,000, and the third place will get R4,000.




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