Cost-effective security system idea from Jonga set to make South Africa safer

3 min read 13 September 2017

A cost-effective security system for low income families from Jonga is set to change the lives of township residents by making home protection affordable. South Africa’s largest insurer, Santam has announced Ntando Shezi and Ntsako Mgiba of Jonga as the winner of the inaugural Santam Safety Ideas Campaign which is run in partnership with the Launchlab; a network of university campus-based business incubators and an initiative of Innovus, Stellenbosch University's industry interaction and innovation company. 

The winners, Social entrepreneurs Ntando Shezi and Ntsako Mgiba created Jonga with the aim of making security accessible to everyone and not just to a few who can afford it. The device consists of two parts: a hardware section that is mounted on the wall and a software part that is either a smartphone app or SMS notification, depending on the type of cellphone the user has. The hardware will sense the person breaking in and send a notification to your phone, asking if you’re expecting anyone. If you’re not, it sends notifications to your neighbours, alerting them to what’s happening in your house. 

Ntsako Mgiba, hopes Jonga will go the distance to empower communities to get connected and protected, “This initiative is very close to our hearts because we also have families in townships. We are thrilled and grateful to Santam and LaunchLab for believing in our product and making it possible for us to start developing our product so that we can launch our pilot programme in various townships.” Mgiba added, “We believe big corporates like Santam should continue to invest in innovative initiatives so that they can make a tangible difference in our communities.” 

The Santam Safety Campaign encourages 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 has generated more than 150 entries from across South Africa.  The top finalists selected in the inaugural phase were all worthy contenders for the title and an incubation prize valued at R150 000. The opportunity to participate in an incubation process saw their concepts or ideas being developed into working prototypes – and possible, viable business ventures. 

Judge Nontombi Marule, Director of Innovation and Technology at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) says, “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 added, “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.” 

The final four contenders in the Santam Safety Campaign were:

Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, Santam’s Executive Head of Brand and Marketing, says, “The Santam Safety Campaign highlights our commitment towards helping to keep South Africans safe, while focusing on our core business of providing insurance good and proper. As an insurance provider, we know we must pre-empt and mitigate potential risks. What better way to do this than to nurture and invest in solution-driven innovators? By investing in risk mitigation strategies like these, we are helping to secure a sustainable future and create safer communities.” 

Having successfully shown that it only takes one small idea to make South Africa a safer place, entries for season two of the Santam Safety Campaign are now open. 

Philip Marais, CEO of the LaunchLab, says, “We are very excited to run another season of the Santam Safety Campaign with Santam following the success of the first season. Santam is setting a great example for Corporate South Africa on how to engage with and strengthen the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. We encourage all entrepreneurs to take advantage of this great opportunity.”   

If you have a workable concept or idea that relates to home, vehicle or business safety that can help keep South Africa safe, you can enter by following this process: 

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