Change the world


Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Three students from Nelson Mandela University claimed the third  spot in the country in the annual Propella Hackathon that was held virtually last weekend due to the lockdown regulations. 

Sanele Thwala (left below), a final year Psychology student, Daniel Basiwe (centre) and Athenkosi Sajini, both final year IT students, impressed the judges with their innovative idea.  

Their system aims to assist employers identify employees who need psychological assistance through Artificial Intelligence and encourage employers to work on increasing employee productivity through employee satisfaction. The team also won the Best Innovative Presentation and Athenkosi won the Most Determined Pitch award. They were competing with young innovators from around the country.

The hackathon, hosted by the Propella business incubator, was held solely online, with all the participants taking part from the safety and comfort of their homes. Participants were free to develop ideas and projects of their choosing and could enter as individuals or as teams. 

There were two sprint targets: the first was an idea pitch from teams on their proposed solution and the second, the design and development of a prototype for their proposed solution. 

Psychological factors have a big impact on the performance of a business. Companies are already reeling from the rising cost of psychological factors on employee productivity. Factors such as demotivation and low morale pragmatically result in increased absenteeism and withdrawal behaviour or ineffectiveness. 

Their system addresses the existing problem by utilising artificial Intelligence, helping employees cope better with their personal issues and improve their emotional health while increasing productivity and effectiveness at work.

Sanele is no stranger to awards and was also recently recognised in the national Top 500 ABSA Gradstar Awards for demonstrating competitive skills and was later shortlisted for the Top 100 in the country.