eGov Connect has been named as the winner of the Gauteng Innovation Competition. eGov Connect pulls communication between citizens and government, as well as fault reporting and social media into a unified user experience to enable easy interaction with public officials. 
Smokeless Coal won the green category for its combination of waste coal, clay and water to produce a smokeless energy source that burns for longer than conventional coals.
The Gauteng Innovation Competition is an annual contest that seeks to foster innovative entrepreneurial ideas to spur growth in the Gauteng economy whilst contributing to job creation and the reduction of poverty. This year, the competition focused on issues that are critical to municipalities.
The competition is run by The Innovation Hub, Africa’s first accredited science and technology park. It is one of the initiatives of the Gauteng Innovation Strategy approved by the provincial cabinet in February 2012.
The Innovation Hub is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), which is an agency of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (DED).
Vela Tsotsi was named as second prize winner in the mobile category for its USSD-based crime reporting tool, while Gov + Me took third prize for its use of mobile location information to connect citizens with government information specific to their area of residence.
In the green category, SavvyLoo won the second prize for its low cost, waterless toilet which is easy-to-assemble and clean, presenting a sustainable alternative to prevent water pollution from waterborne sanitation and pit latrines.
Handy Power Chargers was named as third prize winner in this category for its kinetic chargers use on laptops, desktops, cell phones, lamps and radios where there is no grid electricity supply.
More than 100 submissions were received by the time entries for the competition closed on 14 November 2012. This was followed by an intensive adjudication process to identify the top 10 submissions in each category.
The stringent competition called for innovations that address specific focus areas identified by sector and municipality representatives, and required innovators to complete a draft business plan indicating their expected market and likely investment requirements.
There were specific focus areas within the two themes. The Green Technology theme prioritised entries related to four main areas including solar energy, waste to energy, energy efficiency and water management. The Mobile Technology theme prioritised mobile applications that can improve citizen safety, citizen participation, and transport and traffic management.
“The Gauteng Innovation Competition is an important mechanism for building a culture of innovation within the province,” says MEC for the Department of Economic Development in Gauteng, Nkosiphendule Kolisile.
“This is critical for new enterprise development and creating new opportunities for decent employment creation. The finalists for this year’s competition represent a new generation of entrepreneurs who will lead the economic transformation of our province and country towards a prosperous and inclusive society.”