Is Entrepreneurship Alive and Well in SA?

 Entrepreneurship in SA: Alive and well?

Young South Africans’ appetite for entrepreneurship is alive and well, if they are given the opportunity to turn passion into action, says the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). This after 900 learners participated in the 2017 SAICA & Coronation Business Development Games, held across all nine provinces over the past few months.

Playing the world-renowned Commercium board game, learners from participating schools were expected to tackle real-world business situations by assuming responsibility for the kinds of decisions business leaders have to make on a daily basis.

The following schools won their provincial games by proving that their learners have top entrepreneurial skills when their Commercium companies earned the most money:

  • Eastern Cape: Breidbach High School, King Williams Town
  • Free State: Ntemoseng Secondary School, Botshabelo
  • Gauteng: Suncrest High School, Vanderbijlpark
  • KwaZulu-Natal: Menzi High School, Umlazi
  • Limpopo: Mpilo Secondary School, Marulaneng
  • Mpumalanga: Sitintile Secondary School, Kanyamazane
  • North West: Sol Plaatje Secondary School, Mahikeng
  • Northern Cape: Sekondere Skool Carlton-Van Heerden, Upington
  • Western Cape: Thandokhulu Secondary School, Mowbray

Gugu Makhanya, SAICA’s Senior Executive: Transformation & Growth, explains the importance of the annual business games: ‘Through this project, SAICA gives learners real-world entrepreneurial experience and shows them that there is more than one way to contribute to the economy once they leave school.

‘This is a strategic focus for SAICA for two reasons. The first is that one of our organisation’s objectives is to assist in reaching the NDP goal of solving the country’s unemployment crisis, the second is to upskill learners to become business owners, as many of those who are studying towards entering the chartered accountancy profession do so with the goal of owning their own business one day.’

Participating schools were selected by SAICA together with guidance from the provincial departments of education. Learners were selected by their educators based on academic performance where, among others, they have to achieve a minimum of 60% in mathematics to be eligible to enter the games.

Makhanya commended all participants and added a special word of congratulations to the schools who earned the provincial top spots: ‘It is a great achievement to be chosen to take part in the games. It shows that you excel in mathematics, which is not only an essential gateway subject for pursuing scarce-skill careers like medicine, aviation, engineering, accounting, science and others, but is also a vital skill for those wishing to be entrepreneurs. Maths helps you learn how to grapple with the type of problem-solving required to make a business successful.’

She concluded: ‘So, to the winning schools, well done on your achievement! It is proof of the countless hours and the immeasurable effort your educators put in to prepare learners for their future.’

The top three schools per province are as follows:

Provinces Winning Schools 1st Runner Ups 2nd Runner Ups
Eastern Cape Breidbach High School, King Williams Town Richard Varcha High School, Dimbaza Bisho High School, Bisho
Free State Ntemoseng Secondary  School, Botshabelo Reutlwahetse Secondary School, Excelsior Saint Bernard Secondary School, Bloemfontein
Gauteng Suncrest High School, Vanderbijlpark General Smuts High School, Vereeniging Jet Nteo High School, Vanderbijlpark l
KwaZulu-Natal Menzi High School, Umlazi Mangcengeza High School, Matiwane Velabahleke High School, Umlazi
Limpopo Mpilo Secondary School, Marulaneng


Makwe Secondary School, Mohlarekoma Glen Cowie Secondary School, Glen Cowie Mission
Mpumalanga Sitintile Secondary School, Kanyamazane


Meridian Karino Secondary School, Nelspruit Thembeka Secondary School, Kanyamazane
North West Sol Plaatje Secondary School, Mahikeng Bethel High School, Coligny Molelwane Secondary School, Mafikeng
Northern Cape Sekondere Skool Carlton-Van Heerden, Upington    
(Note: Northern Cape learners played in mixed school teams during the SAICA Development Camp and the winning school was calculated on a points basis)
Western Cape Thandokhulu Secondary School, Mowbray Chris Hani Secondary School, Khayelitsha Hottentots Holland High School, Somerset West

About SAICA:

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 40 000 members who are chartered accountants [CAs(SA)] and hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in their spheres of business operation. Most of these members operate in commerce and industry, and play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.

About the Thuthuka Bursary Fund and Education Upliftment Project:

One of SAICA’s prime goals is to contribute towards strengthening the country’s economy by playing a significant and leading role in transformation and skills development. The Thuthuka Education Upliftment Project, a pioneering initiative to promote transformation in the profession, was launched in the Eastern Cape in 2002 and is fast growing into a national project.

Thuthuka’s objective is to transform the demographics of the profession to reflect those of the country in terms of race and gender, and provide educational support to African learners and students for the benefit of the profession, while simultaneously helping to uplift communities. Therefore, SAICA prides itself in leading the chartered accountancy profession as a socially responsible driver of business and skills development by supporting and encouraging enterprise development initiatives.

SAICA Media Contact

Ms Karin Iten

Project Manager: Marketing and Communications

SAICA Nation Building Division

Tel: ‪011 621 6913