Ms Onica Matsheke, VUT Lecturer with Sibongile Nkutha VUT student that formed part of the team that won the Uber Tech for Safety Hackathon
Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Information Technology (IT) and Analytical Chemistry students were invited to enter and participate in the Uber Tech for Safety Hackathon from which took place from Saturday, 3 to Sunday, 4 August 2019 in Johannesburg.
The purpose of the competition is to give students an opportunity to come up with innovative problem-solving ideas of how technology can be used to improve community, personal, road and women’s safety in South Africa.
The work was done in groups with all groups expected to present their solution in a five-minute pitch. All the teams had to consider the visual impact of the solution they proposed.
VUT student, Sibongile Nkutha along with team members won the competition with their entry, entitled R-Vaye an application that can be used by a group of people who want to walk together to and from work, school campus without being robbed by thieves. They got an opportunity to do a formal presentation followed by a practical demonstration at the 2019 Uber Tech for Safety Summit on which took place on Friday, 16 August 2019 at Park House of Events, to discuss major safety that concerns South African citizens daily, and how current and new technology features can be developed into innovative solutions that will enhance safety and security within our country.
The winners will also get an opportunity to travel to Amsterdam to learn more about computer programming.
Mrs Onica Matsheke, Entrepreneur Lecturer from the Logistics Department who specialises in encouraging and motivating students to use knowledge and skills gained at VUT to identify and develop business ideas and turn them into business opportunities. She said “Hackathons can be very useful for professional development. It’s a great opportunity for students to be part of a team and manifest their ideas in to real world projects”.