Team Amanzi Impilo from the University of Cape Town have won the 2023 Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Sustainathon South Africa, a problem-solving competition that empowers and engages the youth to address pressing societal and sustainability issues.

Team Amanzi Impilo was selected from among 10 finalists for their innovative solution to this year’s theme – Sustainable Water and Sanitation Management. Their solution, titled “The Use of IoT Technology in Grey Water Recycling for Non-Potable Uses” involved using the power of technology to safely and efficiently recycle grey water, and to ensure a zero water wastage household.

Team Disruptors from University of Johannesburg won the second prize while Teams Pathfinders (from Eduvos College, Health Science Academy and Rosebank College) and Water-Wise Professionals (from University of Witwatersrand) tied for the third place.

This year’s event, the second South African edition of TCS Sustainathon, focused on finding ways to harness the innovative ideas and solutions of the youth in addressing critical water and sanitation challenges faced by the country’s communities.

To build on their ideas, participants had the opportunity to work with TCS Sustainathon partners Geekulcha, Ubuhlebakhe Water, SkillsLab, and the City of Tshwane Municipality. This gave them the chance to access corporate South Africa and receive valuable mentorship.

TCS Sustainathon South Africa was open to current and graduate students from the age of 18 from any of the country’s universities. Participants attended a programme of briefing webinars before the final concept submission and the TCS Sustainathon grand finale at The Garden Venue in Johannesburg.

The winning team won R30 000, while second place won R20 000, and third place R10 000. All the other finalist teams received R5 000.

“The idea behind the second TCS Sustainathon South Africa was to inspire our youth to advocate for a more sustainable world,” says Langa Dube, country manager of TCS South Africa. “By allowing students to tap into the power of technology, communities, and our partner ecosystem I can confidently say that the work they have presented could have a real impact on South Africa’s critical water and sanitation challenges.

“Congratulations to all the finalist teams for their great work,” Dube adds. “They have proved that innovation can be a powerful tool to shape a better tomorrow.”

The TCS Sustainathon is a global initiative that is also held in the UK, Europe, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and India.