Game-changing initiative to fight youth unemployment in the township
Youth unemployment is the single biggest threat to the future of South Africa. According to Errol Freeman, CEO of Lulalab, pilot projects can provide an innovative solution to address the high unemployment rate among young people in the township.
“The project is implemented to improve the living conditions and hygienic practices of township households while creating jobs in the process,” says Freeman.
The Lulalab Early Employment Support programme was born in 2016 as a sister organisation to Lulalway Holdings, in order to focus exclusively on social impact projects and increase their reach and impact within communities.
“We find innovative ways to create sustainable jobs for youth while solving the country’s pressing social problems, like skills shortage, entrepreneur support and sanitation. We are committed to lasting impact so all our solutions are research-informed and meticulously monitored.”Errol Freeman, CEO of Lulalab
The Early Employment Support programme successfully executed its first project late last year in Hopefield, Soweto, where they installed gravity solar geysers to 25 houses.
Freeman says this programme is a significant impact to the youth unemployment crisis. This opportunity can create new jobs and change lives at household and community level.
“The proposed intervention aims to provide an innovative solution to address the current challenges facing people daily in the townships and to assist in providing unemployed township youth with the opportunity to manufacture, install and maintain gravity-fed solar-powered geysers within their communities,” concludes Freeman.View more
Imvelisi Enviropreneurs Programme sets young entrepreneurs up for success in SA’s green economy
In 2020 the South African government published its Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. The plan recognises green economy interventions as a critical factor in not only addressing the country’s persistent challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment but also in offering a sustainable solution to driving economic competitiveness.
The programme is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and is in partnership with GreenMatterZA and the South African Young Water Professionals Network (YWP-ZA). It consists of two key components. The first is a training boot camp that fosters entrepreneurship and business success by giving 50 young and aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to explore their ideas and gain insight into starting a business in the water, biodiversity and environmental sectors.
The second component of the programme selects six participants who have shown unique potential during the boot camp, giving them access to mentorship and one-on-one support for 12 weeks.
The Imvelisi Enviropreneurs Programme has trained a total of 132 enviropreneurs to-date and recently concluded its fourth boot camp in November, the first one launched in 2015. This was just in time for the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week (16-22 November), which celebrated innovators who dream big and launch start-ups that bring ideas to life.
“There are hundreds of business incubators, enterprise development and business mentorship programmes operating in South Africa, yet ideation phase enviropreneurs still struggle due to a lack of support in the early stages of the business development cycle,” says Janavi Da Silva, Director of Programmes at GreenMatter.
“Our Enviropreneurs Programme provides ideation training to young enviropreneurs, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and resources to assess market potential, structure a business and partnership proposal and test the viability of their ideas and concepts. We create opportunities for them to learn, adapt and network in the green sector.”
Imvelisi not only helps break down the barriers to entry but is also aware that countless entrepreneurs spend a significant amount of time and money trying to determine if there would be a potential market for their product or service offering. To simplify the process, Imvelisi provides detailed Market Intelligence Reports that include a wide range of business opportunities that currently exist in the green economy. The reports significantly cut down the cost of market entry.
The programme is constantly evolving to offer aspiring young environmental entrepreneurs the best business advice, technical insights relevant to their unique environmental discipline and mentorship to help develop their business plans. More recent developments include the introduction of guidebooks designed specifically for entrepreneurs looking to start invasive alien plant species removal and beneficiations businesses.
Partner and stakeholder investments have seen the programme digitise its bootcamps to offer virtual, extended month-long sessions, as opposed to its previous one-week bootcamp. Placing the entrepreneurs under pressure to pitch after four days. Entrepreneurs now have access to a more flexible Enviropreneur programme guided by industry experts who walk the journey with the attendees to ensure they develop their business plans more effectively and get even more knowledge and insights from the training sessions.
“We’ve seen a massive difference since the introduction of our virtual boot camp, where entrepreneurs are pitching much stronger business ideas to the team. This is a significant improvement compared to previous years and we owe it to the additional hands-on support from industry experts we’ve been able to bring on board. Going into the future, we plan on continuing to innovate so we can reach even more Enviropreneurs and expanding the impact we’ve been able to make so far, looking into the future for a greener economy on the African continent,” adds Da Silva.
“The Imvelisi Enviropreneurs programme is a necessary step for entrepreneurs looking to develop themselves professionally. We’re proud to be a part of such an impactful initiative, which forms a critical part of early-stage entrepreneurial development,” adds Lucky Litelu, Project Lead from South African Young Water Professionals.
“The programme enables entrepreneurs to turn their green business ideas from cerebral thoughts into tangible businesses and gives me confidence that the future of South Africa and the future of the African continent is in the right hands.”
Visit Imvelisi.org to find out more about the Enviropreneurs Programme.View more
VIDEO | Greta Thunberg
The disarming case to act right now on climate change
In this passionate call to action, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg explains why, in August 2018, she walked out of school and organized a strike to raise awareness of global warming, protesting outside the Swedish parliament and grabbing the world’s attention. “The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions,” Thunberg says. “All we have to do is to wake up and change.”
This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxStockholm, an independent event.View more
Youth must energise with 4IR skills to build a better world
The gauntlet has long been thrown – students of the 21st century must ensure they’re equipped with the relevant skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), to grasp opportunities in the future. This is according to the South African National Energy Development Institute, (SANEDI).
Barry Bredenkamp, General Manager for Energy Efficiency and Corporate Communications at SANEDI says South Africa’s youth are heading for a workforce that is facing heavy disruption, not least due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but because of the digital industrialisation which has been characterised by Artificial Intelligence and 4IR.
But Bredenkamp says, “There are exciting opportunities, particularly in the energy sector. Statistics already indicate that Southern Africa’s energy sector could spur economic growth while stimulating energy efficiency.”
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review 2019, in Sub-Saharan Africa, direct employment in projects under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme more than doubled from 17 800 job-years in 2014 to 36 500 by mid-2018, with the majority of these held by people from local communities.
Such opportunities in the construction phase, which have helped create a small domestic wind and solar manufacturing industry, augur well for job creation in the renewables sector, highlighting the need to produce skills to meet the demand.
Bredenkamp adds, “Skills for the future energy requirements remain paramount and aligned to the government initiatives in this regard.” On 16 June Youth Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is committed towards the 4IR, said the government is providing education and training opportunities to ensure that youth get the skills needed by the economy “to unlock the full potential of our country” and help build a better South Africa.
President Ramaphosa’s remarks came as South Africa commemorated Youth Day – a day that pays tribute to the school pupils who lost their lives during the 16 June 1976 uprising in Soweto.
But that defining day 44 years ago, on would mean little if the youth of South Africa did not ensure that the struggle for a better education does not translate into a better life for all, according to Welma Mashinini Redd, the widow of one of the frontline leaders of the uprising, Teboho Tsietsi Mashinini.
“The events of June 16 should not be wasted, because at the end of the day we want to see students in South Africa in a better place,” she says.
Both the President and Mashinini Redd underscore the importance of skills development, says Bredenkamp, adding that the youth must grasp opportunities in the energy sector and play a key role in the future energy landscape for the country.
Therefore, considering tertiary studies at institutions like the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Witwatersrand, offering degrees based on 4IR outcomes and energy studies, must rank high on the career aspirations of the youth of today – to help build a better South Africa tomorrow.View more
You’re never too young (or old) to change the world!
Nature is declining at a rate never seen before in human history and our planet is warming too fast. These pandemics are putting our futures at risk, in particular our youth.
Today, on Youth Day, and during Youth Month, extraordinary South Africans such as award-winning actor John Kani; entertainer Proverb; entrepreneur Maps Maponyane; and, media personalities Zoë Brown, Fezile Mkhize, Kia Johnson and Claire Mawisa are adding their voice to one of the most important causes of our time: a New Deal for Nature and People.
The message is clear: we need nature for fresh food, water and air – and now nature needs us. It needs YOU. It needs your YES – for a future that puts people and nature first. Can we count on you to raise your voice and inspire your friends, family and co-workers?View more
Xylem SA helps develop youth into tomorrow’s leaders
Xylem South Africa, a subsidiary of Xylem LLC, supports our country’s youth and invests continually in their education. As Youth Day is celebrated across South Africa, we must also recognise the immense skills and education gaps that remain and keep many ambitious young people from realising their potential.
As a corporate citizen and driven by the vision that everyone deserves a stable life with opportunity, Xylem SA invests in youth development through its participation in the South African Government’s YES programme.
The Strategy and Marketing Manager for Xylem Africa, Chetan Mistry, explained that Africa has plenty of enthusiastic youth who want to make a change and find solutions for everyday problems. Mistry added that Xylem wants to make the world a better place by making reliable and clean water for everyone.
“We work with very passionate and skilled people across Africa all the time, and there is no question that Africa will become a global leader if we can scale and expand that excellence.”
Mistry added that Xylem wants to make the world a better place by making reliable and clean water for everyone.
Support SA Youth Employment programme
Xylem SA supports the South African Government’s YES (Youth Employment Service) programme. Xylem has been providing leadership to local people for several years. It joined YES in 2019 to expand opportunities to new professionals in the market who are looking to improve their experience and networking opportunities. Xylem SA enrolled 15 trainees from YES in 2019 and more trainees in other programmes, totalling 28 trainees spread across different departments and projects.
The programmes are categorised in order to be able to give opportunities at different levels: learners (P1/P2 workplace experience to get their qualifications), Interns (National Diploma or Bachelor’s degree with no experience), and Graduates (either a qualification and some work experience or Honours Level with no workplace experience). Graduates and learners are also given the opportunity to apply for full-time positions at Xylem or go on to enter the workforce with much-needed experience under their belts.
As we celebrate Youth Day in South Africa, we can feel proud of the gains already made. But much more can be done. Xylem South Africa is committed to being part of the solution.View more
African Fund Scholars – Bursary
Closing Date: 31st October 2014
Did you know that the ASF motivates and encourages scholars to complete their education at High School and Colleges? If you are underprivileged or know of someone who is very poor, in desperate need of assistance financially towards their education ASF will assist.
Field of Study: Any Field of Study
The future of our country lies with its youth. We aim to give our youth hope, to equip them with skills for life and to help them become responsible citizens of this wonderful country.
The African Scholars’ Fund, through awards and guidance, assists promising young schoolchildren from desperately poor homes to complete their secondary or FET college education.
Learners in Grades 7-11 applying for Grades 8-12 from Northern, Eastern and Western Cape or from the Southern part of the North-West Provinces who come from poor homes.
Bursaries are offered for full-time courses only at FET colleges: N1 – N6 and some Practical courses.
Closing dates: 31 Oct for 1st trimester/semester, 31 March for the 2nd trimester, 31 May for 2nd semester, 31 July for 3rd trimester.
Applicants must not be older than 25 years of age. Younger students will be given preference.
A minimum of grade 10 with Maths and Science is required for technical courses.
If already at college, a minimum of 50% in all tests and exams is required (60% for Orientation courses).
How to Apply:
Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Please post by standard post. Do not fax applications.
Bursaries will not be granted to students who have other bursaries, including NSFAS. This will be checked with all bursary organisations and colleges. ASF Students who receive other bursaries will have to pay back funds received from ASF.
Bursaries only cover course fees and registration.
Bursaries do not cover accommodation – if you live far from college explain where you would stay and how you would pay for it.
Source: nyda.goView more