Office of the Premier
Today, Premier Helen Zille unveiled the latest flagship project of the 110% GREEN campaign, the Better Living Challenge, as a pioneering initiative to stimulate new solutions that improve the living conditions of poor people in urban communities. The Better Living Challenge will be a recognised project of the World Design Capital 2014 and aims to mobilise business, academic and public sector players to design new green and alternative solutions for informal and subsidy housing.
This special public challenge will entail creating “Homes on Show” that feature new technological designs. The Homes on Show will involve collaboration between companies, universities, designers, marketers, retailers and financiers. A wide range of products and new technologies will make up these homes and the challenge will also involve the first test of new eco-standards for building materials. The Better Living Challenge will also stimulate new financial mechanisms and packages with the goal of opening up a marketplace for effective solutions to housing consumer needs. More details about the project will be announced over the next few months.
Premier Zille made the announcement today at the Smart Innovation Open Forum attended by a group of business and government leaders, innovators and designers and jointly hosted by the Western Cape Government and the Graduate School of Business. She said, “We sit on extraordinary potential and possibility in the Western Cape and South Africa. With the right policies, we can promote job-creating growth and development and create replicable innovations that can be spread throughout the continent and beyond. In all of this, the role of the government is to make it easy to be an entrepreneur and not be an obstacle to innovation.”
The Open Forum coincides with the release of the Western Cape Green Economy Strategy Framework which seeks to position the Western Cape as the leading green economic hub in Africa by promoting a vibrant innovation environment.
About Smart Innovation on Tour: Smart Innovation on Tour is part of the Western Cape Government’s 110% GREEN programme looking at the intersection between green innovation, social impact and the creation of economic opportunities. Key partners for the Open Forum included the UCT Graduate School of Business Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship and V&A Waterfront.
Professor Walter Baets, Director of the UCT Graduate School of Business says, “We want to focus on bringing together on the ground knowledge with the brightest minds to come up with solutions for Africa. A partnership has formed between the UCT Graduate School of Business and the V&A Waterfront, and we are calling on the most innovative foundations and corporates to come on board as partners to drive practical solutions.”
David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront says, “Enterprise development is key to economic development in South Africa and economic growth requires business leaders and business schools to work together with partners to create a supportive environment that fosters enterprise business development in our country. Significant job creation will come from entrepreneurship and innovation.”