Social Economic Development

Description

See our children blossom

Bytes Technology Group (Bytes) took its Project Qhakaza to KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). In the spirit of the Zulu word meaning "to blossom", 10 schools in the deep rural areas of the province now have fully-functional multi-media centres. The R7 million project has benefited some 5 000 children who might not otherwise have had access to modern technology.

Project Qhakaza was first launched in Gauteng in 2004 when a school in Orange Farm became the first school to receive a multi-media centre. From there the project moved to Langa in the Western Cape before turning its attention to KZN. To date, 456 computers and eight Xerox copiers have found their way into 10 high schools and nine primary schools.

Project Qhakaza’s beneficiary schools received a science laboratory and the latest ICT tools, including computers, high-speed Internet connectivity, an integrated printer/fax/copier/scanner, televisions and DVD players. In addition, Bytes trained educators to make optimal use of the equipment for teaching purposes, and refurbished classrooms to create comfortable learning environments in which the learners can explore the wonders of technology.

The Success of Soya - Altron & Bytes Technology Group

Towards the end of 2007, Altron and Bytes donated R80 000 towards a small business development project in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg. The project aimed to help a group of unemployed young people to start their own small business in the community, built around a machine known as a SoyCow, which produces a variety of nutritious, soy-based products.

The project was managed by Joint Aid Management (JAM), which provided the emerging entrepreneurs with business advice and the necessary training. The project beneficiaries received all the inputs free of charge, subject to an innovative “community payback” component. Instead of having to repay a loan for the equipment, the entrepreneurs were required to donate a portion of their total production to crèches in Orange Farm each week during the project period.

In August 2009, the project phase was concluded with Nambitha Nutritional Products standing on its own feet.
 
When the project period ended, the 10 crèches that were part of the programme had received more than 2 000 litres of soy milk, the equivalent of more than R20 000 worth of sales. More importantly, about 550 children had received nutritious milk on a regular basis.
 
By the time the project period ended, Nambitha had generated more than R5 000 in revenue for the business. This money has been put into a bank account to build up a financial reserve. As the entrepreneurs were receiving a small stipend during the year, they decided not to use any of their revenue for salaries.