Social, civic & sustainable innovation


Project Masiluleke

Project Masiluleke uses the mobile phone as a high­impact, low­cost tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS and TB. The project is built around the use of specialised text messages, delivering approximately 1,000,000 HIV/AIDS and TB messages each day to the general public. These messages are broadcast in the unused space of “Please Call Me” (PCM) text messages – a special SMS widely used in South Africa and across the continent. The messages connect mobile users to existing HIV and TB call centres. Trained operators provide callers with accurate healthcare information, counseling and referrals to
local testing clinics. Since the project’s launch, over 685 million PCM messages have been sent throughout South Africa, driving over 1.5 million calls to the National AIDS Helpline. 

The project also uses a low cost HIV self­testing with counselling support via mobile phone. Similar to a pregnancy test, these distributed diagnostics will provide a free, private and reliable way
for anyone to take the critical first step of knowing his or her status, with high-quality information provided via mobile device. The kit is designed in both English and Zulu, is available for free, and is intended for private use in the home and outside of the traditional healthcare infrastructure. Working with a unique set of partners, including leading, local hip hop artists, the experience is tailored to fit the local cultural environment and eliminate social stigmas associated with current options for HIV testing in South Africa.




Lumkani is a low­cost fire alarm and community alert system. It connects to other devices within range to create a community ­wide response when there is a fire detected.  Across the globe, fires are
a frequent and devastating occurrence in informal settlements due
to the density of households, the use of unsafe cooking, lighting
and heating methods, and the flammable materials which homes
are often built with. The combination of these factors enable shack
fires to spread rapidly, easily destroying hundreds of homes and displacing thousands of people in a single blaze. 

In 2013, three massive fires ripped through South Africa’s largest slum, Khayelitsha, displacing over 5,000 people. This inspired a team to come together and create Lumkani – a start­up and social enterprise. The team designed a new fire alert system that detects heat instead of smoke to notify the closest fire station, thus giving residents and emergency services much more time to act. The GPS­based fire location system also notifies the surrounding community – including neighbours within a 60­meter radius – so that they can also take action before professional help arrives. By providing both inhabitants and firemen with real­time information, the new system will have the capacity to significantly reduce the number of spreading fires in the world’s most vulnerable communities. The first detectors distributed in December 2014 have already prevented two dangerous fires from spreading in densely populated communities.­low­cost­fire­detector­alerts­entire­communities/



Peek retina

Peek Retina is a part of the Peek portable eye examination kit that uses apps and a simple adapter to allow almost anyone to perform high quality eye examinations. The aim is to bring professional eye care to remote areas without compromising quality. The photographs taken using the Peek Retina adapter allow users to look inside the eye to identify problems, leading to timely diagnosis for treatment and thus prevention of disabling eye conditions and blindness.

Peek Retina is much easier to use than traditional ophthalmoscopes making it suitable for a wider group of healthcare workers, including regional and remote healthcare workers, accident and emergency staff, medical students, general practitioners (GPs), family doctors, nurses, consultants, optometrists, orthoptists, ophthalmologists
and even vets.