Congratulations to the nine More than Money Savings Challenge Winners!

We are proud to announce the winners of the More than Money Savings Challenge 

Congratulations to these nine winners, determined by a draw at JASA’s head office:

Sandile Nkhosi and Kamohelo Magge from Ekuphumeleleni Primary School in Soweto Gauteng; Refiloe Mashoeshoe, Simphiwe Xaba, Joana Janeiro and Thabo Nkalosa from Realeboha Primary in the Free State; Ayanda Maxethuka from Greenfield Primary School, Johannesburg; Kgotso Motaung from Reamohetswe Primary in the Free State; and Bulawa Siyakholwa from Fanti Gaqa Primary in Mdantsane, near East London in the Eastern Cape.

The Savings Challenge ran from 23 April until 16 July. The 5 000 or so learners participating in the More than Money and More than Money in a Day programmes each received a  cardboard piggy bank and set a target of how much they want to save, based on a weekly target multiplied by the 12 weeks of the challenge.

 The draw was done by JASA’s financial director, Collen Ngundu, under the watchful eye of our Monitoring and Evaluations Officer, Mashudu Mabela, to end off a productive Savings Month. All of the participants who reached their savings target were eligible to enter the draw. Some of the winners even exceeded their savings target. Bulawa Siyakholwa set a target of R1500 and exceeded this by saving R1695! This learner also achieved the highest total savings.

The winners will open bank accounts and JASA will match each winner’s savings during the challenge and deposit the respective sums into their accounts.  The aim of this challenge is to introduce the principle of savings in primary school learners so they develop good savings habits from an early age.

Thank you to the schools and the teachers who facilitated the challenge to ensure the students participated – we could not have done this without you.   

For more information on the programme, and on JASA’s partnership with HSBC, click here.

Congratulations to Gauteng graduates of the Mastercard-funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme 2018

Well done Gauteng YEDP Class of 2018!

On Thursday 26 July, 128 Gauteng-based young women graduated from the coursework component of the JASA Youth Enterprise Development Programme. Many of these women rented gowns for the ceremony that was generously hosted by SAP at their offices in Woodmead.

“Together with likeminded organisations like JASA, we can advance opportunities for young South African women by helping them develop the skills and expertise they need to thrive as entrepreneurs, in turn empowering them to better able to provide for themselves and their families. This creates knowledge transfer and employment opportunities for their community, too”                                                                                                                 – Mark Elliott, Division President for South Africa at Mastercard.

Mastercard has partnered with JA South Africa for the past eight years, reaching 2 500 young women during this time. 

In the first six years, Mastercard sponsored the high school Enterprise programme and in the past two years they have been sponsoring the out-of-school Youth Enterprise Programme, aimed at young adults. There are also Mastercard-funded programmes running in the Western Cape and Limpopo and a further 50 or so women will be graduating in these regions.

The Gauteng participants attended classes at four community centres run by Siyafunda, which is the key implementing partner. In addition to providing venues, Siyafunda also conducts the computer skills training. Graduates from the programme receive a NQF level 4 Services Seta-accredited Youth Enterprise Development Certificate and the Intel Learn Easy Steps Digital Literacy Certificate. Here are some of the staff members of our implementing partner, Siyafunda,together with JASA alumnus Nthabiseng Tomotomo.

In his welcome address, Sunil Geness, Director of Government Relations and CSR at SAP urged the graduates not to be afraid to think big. He explained how SAP started when a few engineers left IBM to start their own company in the 1970s. Since then, the business has grown to have a presence in 180 countries.

JASA Board Chair Dolly Mokgatle gave an example of another global company with humble beginnings. These days Jo Malone cosmetics are sold globally under parent company Esteé Lauder but it all began with a women dabbling in her kitchen to mix ingredients for body lotion.

“Empowering young women to rise above systemic challenges and be able to meaningfully participate in the economy through experiential entrepreneurship training and mentorship is key to developing self-sufficient communities”                                             – Nelly Mofokeng, Managing Director at JA South Africa

All of the Gauteng graduates have committed to the mentoring phase, which happens over the next six months. This will assist them to tackle some of the challenges start-up businesses face, such as accessing finance and markets beyond their communities and refining their products.

In addition to being assisted to start sustainable businesses, alumni are exposed to further opportunities through the JASA network. Nthabiseng Tomotomo is a 2017 alumnus who had the opportunity to pitch at a We Connect conference, as an example.

She spoke at the graduation ceremony, explaining how being an employee had been frustrating for her. Wanting to start a business, she joined the closest JASA programme in 2017, which meant commuting from Soweto to Katlehong to attend classes. Her commitment has paid off as she builds her business, Baby Sonic, which delivers baby and personal hygiene products to busy mothers, as the primary target market.

We honour the hard work of all the graduates and send out a big congratulations!

Here are some photos taken at the event by photographer Melvin Modiselle, who came along with her mother Evelyn, who was a graduate.


JA More than Money on Mandela Day

Over 1000 children were reached in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 100th anniversary

This Mandela Day, JASA coordinated a nationwide campaign to reach close on 1200 Grade 7 learners, involving 16 schools in six provinces. With the help of trained volunteers, our facilitators guided the learners through five interactive sessions that introduce good financial habits, in the JA More than Money in a Day Programme, spanning around three hours.

The programme is designed to be fun, with interactive games and activities. The learners at Isu’Lihle Primary School in Zola, Soweto showed great excitement when JASA staff and volunteers arrived to start the workshops and their participation was enthusiastic was unflagging throughout the sessions.

With July being Savings Month, this is an apt time for primary school children to learn about how to manage money, particularly since the rate of savings and investment in South Africa is so very low. When children are encouraged to save from an early age they are far more likely to continue good financial habits throughout their lives and are more empowered to shape their futures constructively.

Snacks are neatly packed and ready for the break at Boschrand Primary School in Mataffin, Mpumalanga.

At Batlhalerwa Primary School in Phalane, North West the learners warmed up with some stretches before starting the first session.


The programme reached 11 Grade 7 classes in Gauteng, with two of these at Vulindlela Primary in Orange Farm.

Eight Grade 7 classes were taught at Isu’Lihle Primary in Soweto. EMS teacher David Mashanyu expressed the wish that the JA More than Money in a Day Programme could be held in the school every year since it provides the children with such a good revision of the financial literacy coursework they covered in the previous term and builds on this knowledge. He was impressed at how much the students enjoyed engaging with the material.


We appreciated the support of the Gauteng Department of Education, who joined JASA at Isu’Lihle to monitor how the programme was received. JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng (on the right) is photographed with Sinah Raseroka and Spykes Makoko, both from EMS, Johannesburg Central.

At Imperial Primary, in Mitchell’s Plain,Western Cape, it was warm enough today to do the programme in the courtyard.


In Limpopo the programme reached about 75 students at Thakgalang Primary in Blood River Village.


Thank you to all the schools who collaborated with JASA to make this day a success.



Award-winning entrepreneurship education leader  and JASA alumnus Thabo Serame 

Award-winning entrepreneurship education leader  and JASA alumnus Thabo Serame 

Thabo Serame is an award-winning entrepreneurship education leader who did a JASA programme in 2008. For over seven years he has invested his energy in developing youth, through initiatives with organisations such as Wits, EY, Investec, Absa and Youth Leadership & Entrepreneurship Development (YLED), where he currently serves as Director of Finance and Board Member.

Thabo is a seasoned management consultant working clients in sectors from education and banking to insurance and real estate. His entrepreneurial journey began in Grade 9, when he started a tech company. Then he moved on to run a student accommodation business called IDS Student Residences, a tourism and shuttle business – IDS Shuttles – and more recently a food and beverage business in the fames Vilakazi street, called IDS Eats. He also empowers people to understand the world of business, finance and leadership by contributing to UJ FM.

“Junior Achievement taught me about life skills, the norms and values of greatness and what entrepreneurship is. It taught me about personal branding and how I should represent myself as a brand, everywhere I am. Through JA I learned how I could  run my own business, offering innovative solutions to media and branding. 

“I have a vision to inspire and empower young and old minds to be the greatest they can be. By discovering that I have leadership skills I now know that I have a responsibility to deliver on my vision. Knowledge is power and JA is a platform that aims to inspire young minds to better themselves. 

Everyone has potential; unleashing that potential reveals how great a young person can be.

“Waking up on Saturdays each week and going to the programme meant that I was planting a seed for greater ventures.  I have carried this discipline through to my studies in Organisational Psychology and Anthropology as JA proved to me that everybody has potential and that it is when that potential is realised that success is guaranteed.

“I can confidently say that JA inspires and motivates young minds to be greater than they could ever imagine.”

Congratulations to the Company of the Year 2018 winners

The Company of the Year 2018 winners were chosen at the presentation and awards evening hosted by Citi

After two days of intensive strategy, finance and pitching workshops,the first presentation round led to six of the nine provincial teams being shortlisted.

These teams pitched their student businesses to a panel of JASA alumni judges in the final presentation and awards evening, hosted by Citi at their offices in Sandton on Thursday July 12.

The Company of the Year 2018 winning team was Meraki, from McAuley House, Johannesburg in Gauteng. Their programme is funded by Delta. The team was represented by Gugulethu Ngwenyama and Amohelang Molefi. In the photo below, they are together with our four judges.

In the next photo the winning team celebrate with JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng, Citi representative, Foreign Exchange and Money Market Dealer, Nemu Manjezi and proud JASA Programmes Coordinator, Elias Sebola.

Meraki produces a portable projector that doubles as a screen magnifier, which can be used as mini-projector for small groups and assists with reading. Due to its affordability and portability the team aim to access a diverse market. Currently they are marketing their products at school assemblies, as well as through presentations, social media and word of mouth.


Dynasty, from Reahola Secondary School in Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State, who attended a programme funded by Investec,  took second place. The team was represented by Kelebokgile Hlalele and Bonolo Tshabalala.

Dynasty use matchsticks to make coasters that can be customised to suit their clients’ tastes. An innovative aspect of the design is that the coaster will have a heating element to keep cups warm, using a USB connection that can be plugged into a laptop. Marketing is done through social media, posters and word of mouth.

In third place was O’ My Garden from Northlands Girls High School in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Their programme was funded by Citi and the team was represented by Caitlin Christopher and Tamzyn Naidoo. They sell glass jars containing succulents, planted in soil layered above pebbles and then wrapped with cellophane and a ribbon. The unit price is R30 and they had sold approximately 358 products by mid-June. Advertising is done by word of mouth.


The other three teams that made the shortlist of six included:

  • A-Team Productions from Lentegeur High School in the Western Cape, from a programme funded by Citi.
  • Eleven Levels, from Boresetse High, Barkly West in the Northern Cape, from a programme funded by Investec.
  • Tswarenang, from Sandtonview, Johannesburg in Gauteng, from a programme funded by General Electric’s Londvolota Fund.

Welcome addresses by JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng, JASA Board Chair Dolly Mokgatle and Citi’s Nemu Manjezi inspired the students to continue to shape their destinies.


Vumile Msweli, who runs Hesed Consulting, delivered a powerful address where she told stories from her own life and career. Also a JASA alumni, Msweli is a role model on how you can direct your career path and succeed, despite the odds. At times, while she was talking, there was a hushed silence followed by gasps of awe.

Thank you to our wonderful judges, all JASA alumni, as mentioned, who gave the participants constructive feedback in the Q&A after each presentation. They were:

  • Nombasa Hlathi, Cash Product Manager, Treasury and Trade Solutions Team, Citi
  • Sherishnie McDonald, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and runs her own successful food and beverage business in Pretoria
  • Fulufhelo Miswe, a businessperson in the property and transportation industry in Alexandra, Johannesburg
  • Thabo Serame, award-winning entrepreneurship education leader in organisations including Wits, EY, Investec, Absa and Youth Leadership & Entrepreneurship Development (YLED), where he currently serves as Director of Finance and Board Member


Thabo Serame also gave some useful tips to the learners, as he handed out the awards. Having so many alumni speaking and involved in COY made the event extra special.

The first part of the event was MC’d by JASA Programmes Manager Terence Modiba and then actress and television and radio presenter Candice Modiselle took over for the latter half. Being a JASA alumni from 2011, she recounted the decisive impact the high school programme had made on her life, her choices and her confidence to approach life from an entrepreneurial perspective. She was excited to see JASA Programmes Coordinator Bonga Kumalo, whom she remembers fondly as the facilitator at her school.


We are grateful to Citi for our long-standing partnership. Not only do they support JASA by funding programmes but this is the fourth year in a row that they have hosted our national Company of the Year. As part of the event, the internationally renowned Mzansi Youth Choir performed.

The regional JA Africa Company of the Year 2018 will be held in Ghana in December, represented by four members from our winning team, Meraki. They will be accompanied by a chaperone on an all-expenses paid trip to Ghana, as well as receiving a cash equivalent prize for their school.

For all the photos of the event please click through to the Flickr album: