IT/ Coding workshops at Setshabelo and Mathlasedi primary schools 

Siyafunda is providing digital skills workshops at Setshabelo Primary School in Welkom and Mathlasedi Primary School in Krugersdorp

Digital skills workshops are being facilitated by JASA’s long-term partner Siyafunda over two days, where the students learn the basics of how to use a computer and are then exposed to the coding language Scratch. The hands-on approach enables the learners to code a game.

This is made possible through a partnership between JASA and the Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation, where the same cohort of learners at five schools in three provinces, will be offered programmes for six consecutive years, beginning this year with the group in Grade 7, with an emphasis on STEAM2D (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Manufacturing).

The workshops occurred at the Ndabeni, Beretta and Timbavati Combined primary schools in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga, on 8 and 9 November. In this last week of November Siyafunda is training learners at Setshabelo Primary School in Welkom and Mathlasedi Primary School in Krugersdorp.

The students were exuberant when expressing their delight at having the opportunity to take their first digital steps and were proud that in a short space of time they had progressed far enough to present their games to their fellow learners.

To see some of the students presenting in Acornhoek, click here, and for more information on the partnership pilot, click here.


Opening up young minds to the potential of STEM2D

Grade 7 learners get their first taste of coding through in-school STEM 2D partnership with Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation

The Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation is partnering with JASA to provide STEM2D Programmes to a cohort of learners, from five schools in three provinces, for six consecutive years, beginning this year when the group is in Grade 7.

This month the students are being exposed to digital skill workshops, conducted by long-term partner Siyafunda. The students not only get to learn the basics of how to use a computer but are also introduced to the coding language, Scratch, on the second day, where they learn to programme a computer game.

The workshops occurred at the Ndabeni, Beretta and Timbavati Combined primary schools in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga, on 8 and 9 November. Further workshops will take place later in the month at Setshabelo Primary School, Welkom and Mathlasedi Primary School in Krugersdorp.

By all accounts this experience has made a lasting impression of the students in Mpumalanga. In the interactive workshops, the emphasis was on learning through fun, and there was even time to play a tug-of-war. Students were so proud when they got to present how they had coded the games to work.

Siyafunda facilitator Lutfiyya Patel interviewed two students from Ndabeni Primary School. Ntsako says that even though it was a little hard, it was really fun and she was surprised how quickly she could understand enough to start coding. She is hoping to use this programme in the future and was happy to learn the basics of using a computer combined with learning the beginnings of a coding language. Another 13-year old in the class, Nolenbangu, also expressed her excitement at learning to code a game that she could then see in real-time. She hopes that she will have further opportunities to learn more coding, as she grows up.

Loads of interactive fun is built into the workshops.


For an overview of the project, and the progress made so far, see this earlier article:

Six-year pilot will expose 600 students to successive STEM2D Programmes

JASA Success Skills graduates at Liberty Community College

Bank of Tokyo once again generously sponsored a JA Success Skills programme for Grade 10s at Liberty Community College

At the graduation ceremony for the 25 participants, JA South Africa Programme Coordinator Elias Sebola spoke to Keoni Mzila and Elaine Mlilo, who were lucky to also attend a job shadow at the funder’s offices.

Keoni Mzila expressed his gratitude to Bank of Tokyo for bringing this programme to their school, commenting that he had  learnt a lot about how to lead and how to communicate with other people, as well as how to build rapport.

“Before, I could not understand people who lash out but in this programme I have learnt that you will deal with many different kinds of people. I have also learnt to be confident, because without confidence you can’t be a leader. As a young person who wants to start his own business I have learnt that I should be confident and go for what I want. I would definitely refer this programme to other learners since it will build who they are and build their self esteem.”

When asked what she had learnt, Elaine Mlilo commented:

“I specifically love being a leader but in this course I have learned the value of team work and the importance of each member in the team being able to showcase their talent. I have also learnt about the importance of building rapport and how to handle various situations, should they arise. I am not so good at that yet but I am working on it. I have attended a lot of these kind of courses but this has been the best.”

Some of the students also wrote glowing testimonials, such as this one by Ntoenhle Nkomo:


Nelly Mofokeng attended Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment conference

Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment conference – Nelly Mofokeng reports back

In early October the Jobs Summit ended with an ambitious agreement that entailed a target of creating around a quarter of a million new jobs annually. This was followed by the fifth annual Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment conference, convened in Stellenbosch towards the end of October, by Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, the Presidency, the Human Resources Development Council of SA, Yellowwood, and the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection.

JA South Africa MD Nelly Mofokeng was one of the 250 leaders from business, government, labour, and the social sector who came together to shape a path forward to ensure that more youth are empowered to be employed or to create self-employment.

“Overall, this highly networked and results-driven conference got each stakeholder introspecting on their role and how they can improve their contributions to alleviating youth unemployment,” explains Mofokeng.

Currently R200 billion is spent each year by government and the private sector on training and skills development but the conversion rate to employment doesn’t even reach 10%.

Thus, educational initiatives need to result in more youth being either employed or empowered to self deploy. In the spirit of seeking inclusive solutions, young people shared their stories and were part of the discussions.

Mofokeng explains how delegates could share insights and best practices in “action labs” that focused on sectors that can be developed to enable job creation, namely:

  • Business process services
  • Installation, repair and maintenance

The need to unlock demand and the role technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions need to play, including the artisanal pathway was a focus in the discussions in this lab

  • Digital tech
  • Township enterprise and social economy

A primary takeaway from the event was that tackling the challenge of inclusive socio-economic growth will entail a diverse range of coalitions that come up with scalable solutions.

Insights from the Job Summit will inform the planning of youth labour market transitions, which will include:

  • Shaping interventions to create pathways at TVET colleges
  • Increasing local procurement
  • Advancing more projects in key economic sectors such as manufacturing, infrastructure development, business processes and services to provide more entry level jobs

The need to have a clear understanding of what drives youth unemployment – and the associated costs – was on the agenda, added Mofokeng

Factors that contribute to the constraints or support the participation and progression of young people can include the intangible cost of seeking employment, such as data and telephone costs, transport to an interview etc. Aspects of the Jobs Fund were discussed, which included the funding window, supply and demand, the success stories and the challenges. The recently launched  Youth Employment Service initiative was also on the agenda, with an overview of the progress made thus far provided.

In terms of digital skills, the plan to increase foreign direct investment over the next years could entail the burgeoning of good jobs in contact centres, data centres and knowledge, which means digital skills will become more in demand, CEO of Business Leadership SA explained in an article on Business Live. Youth need to be groomed as coders, data analysts, data scientists and software engineers.

In the JA South Africa Youth Enterprise Development Programme, partner Siyafunda provides ICT training and our pilot five-year project with the Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Trust includes coding workshops. We are currently looking at other potential pilots to provide digital skills as part of our programmes.


Finding innovative solutions to the problem of youth unemployment has become imperative and JA South Africa will continue to participate in these important events.

Kliptown Youth Enterprise Development Programme Applications

Spaces still available for the Youth Enterprise Development Programme in Kliptown

If you live in the area and you want to apply, please join the final briefing session on Tuesday 15 January at 10am at the Kliptown Youth Project, 49 Station Road, Kliptown. For enquiries, please call Thapelo Siasia on 011 528 8670.

Lamula Jubilee learners attend leadership camp at Bosco Youth Centre

Entrepreneurship Academy Programme beneficiaries from Lamula Jubilee Secondary School attended a leadership and teamwork camp at Bosco Youth Centre in Walkerville on Saturday morning.

This programme, including this team building exercise, has been sponsored by Investec.

JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng attended the event. “Honesty , integrity, confidence, humility, commitment, passion and empathy are some of the leadership qualities that the participants learnt during this event,” she explained.