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“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”, Mahatma Gandhi, once said.

With the above quote, the innobiz Enactus at the Midlands Campus under the innobiz DUT Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) recently embarked on a 67 minutes initiative in commemoration of Mandela Day. The programme aimed to make an impact in reducing pollution in the river at Imbali, Pietermaritzburg and was guided by the objectives of the Umlilo Project.

This innobiz project is also in line with United Nations Sustainable Developmental Goal number 1 (No Poverty), SDG number 8 (Decent work and economic development), SDG number 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), SDG number 11 (Sustainable Cities and communities), SDG number 12 (Responsible, consumption and production), SDG number 13 (Climate Action), SDG number 14 (Life below water), SDG number 15 (Life on land) and SDG number 17 (Partnerships for the goals).

When seeing the pollution that is taking place in that river, it was witnessed that the community of Imbali are not fully aware of the negative impact that they are causing in the river, also causing algae bloom, when there is algae in the river, the results are death of species that reside inside that particular water.

innobiz Enactus hosted this initiative in partnership with innobiz DUT Midlands and DUT Midlands Green Campus Initiative. The team did not end with the river clean up, but went on and spent another 67 minutes at the Siyaphilisa Old Age Home. In this facility, it is where old citizens are being taken care of in Imbali Township. The second initiative was the planting of crops at this Old Age Home. The initiative is in line with another innobiz Enactus project (Agribusiness) that is guided by various SDGs. One of the significant SDGs that motivated this programme is SDG number 1 (No poverty).

The team was appreciated and thanked by MaZondi, the person who is responsible and ensuring that the Old Age Home is running smoothly and making sure that the citizens living in Siyaphilsa Old Age Home are being taken care of. The success of these two programes was made possible by the involvement of all students that took part in the initiative and innobiz DUT staff and the donation of crops by innobiz DUT.

The collaboration shown in these initiatives was the true reflection of DUT ENVISION2030 for the DUT community, guided by the institution’s objectives.

Pictured: The innobiz DUT team getting ready to plan crops at the Siyaphila Old Age Home.

Photographer: Linda Lindani.

Siphiwe Bekwa

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