The Wits Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team finished fifth place at the National Competition held earlier this month. The University of Kwa-zulu Natal won the competition and will be representing South Africa at the SIFE World Cup.

The teams are challenged to develop community outreach projects that reach SIFE’s educational topics such as market economics, entrepreneurship and business ethics.

SIFE teams from the country present the results of their outreach projects to determine which teams made the most impact on their communities.

Twenty-six teams participate on the first round, in four leagues. Two teams from the four leagues advance to the semi-finals and finally four teams at the finals. An awards ceremony is held at the end of the two day event.

Wits SIFE President Neilwe Mashigo says, “We were really disappointed after the Thematic awards ceremony on the first day, when Wits only walked away with one trophy. The teams that often win the most trophies go to the second round, but we were shocked to hear that we had made it to the semi-finals.”

In the first round the Wits team competed with Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Rhodes University; Tsiba education, University of Zululand and University of Limpopo.

“I am very proud of the team’s achievement and we will be starting with new projects in the coming weeks,” says Wits SIFE Faculty Advisor, Nicky Lowe.

The team presented some of their projects, namely: ‘Fit for life, Fit for Work’, a youth training scheme that combines life coping skills with work preparedness; ‘XenoSIFE’ is a project which seeks to help in building social cohesion and intergrate foreign nationals who are legally in the country, by devising a means for them to work together with locals in creating job opportunities.

The presentations are judged by leading business executives from companies like Harmony Gold, HSBC Africa, Nedbank, and Softline, to name a few. The national champion then goes to compete at the SIFE World Cup.

Thirty-nine SIFE teams are expected to participate in this year’s international competition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.