BY Wesley Diphoko 2 MINUTE READ

South Africa is in a deep hole that will require more than just ordinary solutions. There has never been a better time for technology to showcase its ability to solve problems. In light of the current state of South Africa, real impact has been an overarching criteria in selecting companies that are worthy of the Fast Company Most Innovative Companies recognition.

The fundamental question during the process of judging nominated companies was: How are they  making a difference in people’s lives? How will their technology make a difference in future? Are they solving major challenges in society?

You don’t have to be a genius to understand that in South Africa and the continent at large, for any solution to be truly impactful, it has to solve challenges faced by the majority instead of just a few.

In an African context, it is important to work towards solving challenges that are experienced by the majority who live in rural areas and who have limited access to critical resources. Companies that are working and focusing on solving technological challenges and ensuring that everyone – even those in remote and rural areas – should be celebrated and supported. Companies that are solving challenges that have not been addressed before should be recognised for trying to solve challenges that truly matter.

Health challenges are a major set-back for South Africa, the continent and the world. There’s no doubt that companies that are focused on enabling access to health care and changing for the better how health care is provided matter today and will continue to matter in the future. Companies that are making a difference in health are worthy of recognition and support as their success will save lives and not make us look good with just photography.

Anyone who has an ability to think will understand that a population that is not educated will eventually impact negatively in society. Companies that are solving the education challenge today should be celebrated by all in society. Their success will not only benefit themselves but will have a multiplier effect and impact.

Fast Company SA considered this reality in the process of choosing the nominated companies to be recognised as the Most Innovative Companies in South Africa.

The founders and innovators in the chosen companies are the kinds of people who, if they were locked in a room, could solve some of South Africas major challenges.

Fast Company SA has chosen these companies to shine a spotlight on their efforts. They have shown and proven that they can make a difference. Some of them still need support to make a further impact – yet their concepts and ideas are something truly breaking new ground. Now that these companies are out there, every South African has an opportunity to support them and contribute to creating a major company that will take society to another level.

Get a copy of Fast Company SA’s latest issue now in stores and learn more about the Most Innovative Companies in South Africa.