Germ-packed escalator handrails could soon be a thing of the past



October 22, 2016
Germ-packed escalator handrails could soon be a thing of the past

NOVEL: Azraa Jonkers concept for hand sanitiser

Girl, 15, places third at National Junior Innovators competition for escalator sanitation idea.

If the thought of touching those dirty escalator handrails grosses you out, this schoolgirl may have found the solution to your problem.

Fifteen-year old Azraa Jonkers recently took third place at the National Junior Innovators competition held in Johannesburg for her bright idea to place sanitisers at the bottom and top of escalators.

The device would then spray steriliser onto the handle every 30 seconds.

The Kensington teen, whose mom always warned her not touch the side of the escalator, says she was inspired by an air freshener TV advert to solve her problem.

The Grade 10 pupil at Kensington High School was part of the Junior Achievement South Africa Programme, teaching pupils how to start and successfully run a small business.

For the Junior Innovators competition, pupils have to come up with a business proposal.

Azraa says she and her dad brainstormed ideas.

“And I thought why hasn’t anyone come up with a solution to clean the handles on escalators, because where there are escalators, there are germs,” she explains.

The teen adds: “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the email saying I was chosen to go to Johannesburg.”

Azraa ended up third, winning a cool R20 000 that will be paid towards her tertiary education.

Tasneem Cloete from KwaZulu-Natal came first for creating the “Clutch-Clicky”, an all-in-one product that includes a pen, pencil, eraser and ruler.

Thandolwethu Magagula was second for creating Magic Paint — small LED lights covered in plastic, that change colour when attached to a wall.

Azraa says all she needs now is a savvy investor to back her idea.

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