Learners from Madiba Comprehensive School continue STEM2D journey

Learners from Madiba Comprehensive School continue STEM2D journey

In 2018, Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation partnered with JA South Africa to introduce 379 grade 7 learners from Mathlasedi Primary School to foundation-phase Science, Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing and Design (STEM2D) Programmes, with the hope that they will grow up to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.

Now in grade 8 at Madiba Comprehensive School, the same group of learners participated in the STEM2D phase two programme, which took place from 29 July 2019 to 31 July 2019. They were taught computer coding and given an assignment to produce prototypes of infrastructures that would make life easy for their communities.

Some of the innovative prototypes that the learners produced included a smart drain with camera and farmhouse windmill. To further enhance the experience the learners were also taught about entrepreneurship and work readiness.

A big thank you to Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation for the funding and continued support, our key implementing partner Siyafunda CTC for providing the computer technology and coding expertise, and our team of JA South Africa volunteers for facilitating the programmes.

Financial literacy & entrepreneurship training for #MandelaDay2019

Financial literacy & entrepreneurship training for #MandelaDay2019

To celebrate Mandela Day this year, we mobilised our collective power and used education to empower young people throughout the country. As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. We partnered with Gauteng Department of Economic Development, the Department of Basic Education and Marsh & McLennan Companies to deliver financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills to over 1000 grade 7 and 8 learners in seven schools across Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West and the Western Cape.

Teamwork, decision making, learning to Earn, Save and Spend was the order of the day

“This was so much fun and insightful, I would definitely like to do more of this! If I had such opportunities at an early age, I wouldn’t have made some of the costly mistakes.” – Ms Zwile Nkosi, Marsh & McLennan Companies

“This programme is perfectly aligned to our Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) subject and has given our learners a head start in preparing for the school market day scheduled for September 2019,” said Mrs Phaka, grade7 Educator for EMS at Bonwelong Primary.

Ms Boipelo Setstwe a volunteer from Marsh & McLennan Companies said, “I’m really impressed with how the learners could quickly grasp the concepts and translate them to their aspirational businesses. At the end of the session they had positioned their product so well and were very clear about who their target market was going to be!”

A JA South Africa tree donated by the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment at Thuto-Lore Secondary School.

JA South Africa’s Programme Coordinator, Bonga Khumalo, explains the JA Wealth Creation Game to the learners, volunteers and Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment, Hon. Kgosientso Ramokgopa at Thuto-Lore Secondary School.

We would like to extend a big thank you our partners without whom this would not have been possible.

Marsh & McLennan Companies, facilitators and volunteers, Gauteng Department for Economic Development, Department for Basic Education and management at the following schools:

  • Gauteng: Bonwelong Primary School;
  • Eastern Cape: Dalukukhanya Primary School;
  • Mpumalanga: Buhlebuyeta Primary School;
  • Western Cape: Imperial Primary School;
  • Gauteng: Thuto-Lore Secondary School;
  • Gauteng: Nageng Primary School;
  • North West – Montsamaisa Primary School and Batlhalerwa Primary Schools;

Bonga Khumalo speaks financial literacy and entrepreneurship with SABC

Bonga Khumalo speaks financial literacy and entrepreneurship with SABC


Our national programmes coordinator, Bonga Khumalo, joins The Full View on SABC to talk about the importance of early introduction to financial literacy and entrepreneurship, and how it can vastly improve the savings culture in our country.

In the interview, he highlights the importance of teaching children of primary school age concepts such as earning, spending and saving through the JASA More than Money programme.

With the high unemployment rate in South Africa, the time has never been more critical to urge the youth to save and focus on entrepreneurship from an early age.

Watch full interview here:

Bonga Khumalo speaks financial literacy and entrepreneurship with SABC #SavingsMonth

Grade 7 learners in Diepsloot learn wise money habits and entrepreneurship

Grade 7 learners in Diepsloot learn wise money habits and entrepreneurship

AIG continues its global support of Junior Achievement through a generous grant with JA South Africa being chosen as one of the 22 recipients! Through this grant 412 grade 7 learners from Diepsloot Combined School and Reshomile Primary School were introduced to the JA More Than Money Programme on 26th April 2019.

JA More Than Money is a programme which teaches learners about earning, spending, sharing and saving money. This programme also teaches about businesses they can start or jobs they can perform to earn money.

This is the second year AIG has funded one of JA South Africa’s programmes, as well as recruited and trained employee volunteers to help students gain entrepreneurship, personal finance and work readiness skills. As part of the partnership, AIG employees have become dedicated classroom teachers and capstone volunteers, as well as supported other special events.

“I have been working at AIG for a year and half now and for what I have seen the experience has been amazing. I believe that companies should do their all to reach out to communities, it is not really about trying to make a profit but rather how we can all work together to bring up and uplift the community. I am glad that I work for a company who shares these values, the relationship between AIG and JASA is very extraordinary, amazing!”- Kagisho Kgaile Communication

Administrator at AIG

Bongiwe Ngobese, an Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) Educator at Reshomile Primary School, said she found the programme very helpful for the learners, especially in the EMS curriculum.

“What I observed about the programme is that it relates to the EMS curriculum. For example, the business planning is a module we are going to cover in the 3rd term. It is very helpful because some of the content they are learning today from the programme has already been done in class, so for those who had questions and uncertainty, I am sure they were covered today.” – Bongiwe Ngobese, Educator at Reshomile Primary School.

“What I have learned today is that money doesn’t grow from trees, you need to work in order to earn it.” – Andrew Khoza, grade 7 learner from Reshomile Primary School.

Our year in review: 2018 highlights

Highlights and milestones of 2018

This year marked the beginning of an innovative STEAM2D pilot, launched in partnership with Standard Bank Tutuwa Foundation and Siyafunda CTC, as well as the piloting of the JA More than Money Programme in a Day, where teachers were trained to facilitate the programme. USpeak, the debating series that JA South Africa produced, in partnership with Soweto TV, aired in February and nine JASA alumni graduated from a Rapid Prototype Incubator Programme, hosted in collaboration with Investec and Transnet’s SABS Design Institute. Many new businesses emerged from the Youth Enterprise Development programmes funded by Mastercard and Transnet while the Citi Company of the Year national winners went on to represent South Africa in the African regional finals. JASA actively engaged in several forums on addressing youth unemployment and advancing entrepreneurial skills training in education.


The year kicked off on a high note, what with recruitment drives and enrolments; training facilitators; meeting teachers and community centre managers; running information sessions and ensuring that materials were delivered for programmes to begin smoothly.

In addition, we joined the fourth annual STEAM2D Kasi Career Fair roadshow, which launched at the Elkah Stadium in Soweto, where JASA guided over 250 students through the Spaza Game. In March, we repeated the workshops in Mpumalanga and also ran these workshops daily at the Department of Education’s Career Expo in June. Read more here.


JASA formed an innovative partnership with Standard Bank’s Tutuwa Community Foundation that will provide STEAM2D Programmes to a single cohort of students – in Gauteng, Free State and Mpumalanga – for six consecutive years, as they move from Grade 7 through their high school careers.

Launched in 2018, the pilot will continue until 2023 and this group of 600+ learners will be exposed to a succession of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design (STEAM2D) Programmes. Read more here.

In November, the Grade 7 students got their first taste of coding in digital skill workshops, conducted by JASA’s long-term partner Siyafunda CTC. The students not only got to learn the basics of how to use a computer but were also introduced to coding language, Scratch, where they learn to programme a computer game. Read more here.

Watch the students presenting here:


The JASA Youth Council had a busy 2017 preparing Gauteng school debating teams to compete in a televised debate competition, USpeak, produced in partnership with Soweto TV. The motions focusing on entrepreneurial issues and the series aired on Soweto TV in the first quarter of 2018. Hosted by Programmes Manager Terence Modiba, the series was adjudicated by Youth Council Members. Here are some behind the scenes photos and a few clips from one of the episodes, edited together to give you a taste of the show.


 During Global Money Week, JASA teamed up with the Department of Education to pilot the More than Money in a Day Programme, with teachers trained to facilitate the five back-to-back sessions. Peter Van Wyk, then Deputy Chief Education Specialist at Gauteng Department of Education, commented that it would really be good to see more of these types of interactive activities and games in the curriculum. Read more here.

“When you engage them like this the learners enjoy it very much,” Van Wyk said.


 Further More than Money in a Day programmes, sponsored by AIG, were rolled out to three Gauteng primary schools, demonstrating the value of embedding programmes like this into the educational curriculum. Read more here.

“The connection this programme has with our curriculum is very good. We are still going to start teaching finance this semester so the children are getting a head start in familiarising themselves with the finance terms and ideas.” – EMS Teacher Bongiwe Ngobese   


Nine participants of the pilot Rapid Prototype Accelerator Programme, a partnership between Investec, Transnet and the SABS Design Institute, graduated from the year-long programme, where they developed initial prototypes. These participants had all reached the top three at the Junior Innovators Competition from the prior three years. Read more here.

Students attending the two Digital Enterprise Programmes sponsored by General Electric’s Londvolota Trust went on a field trip to the GE Innovation Centre, where they were taken through the process of design-centred innovation by GE’s Celiwe Zondo and consultant Kathy Berman. The student teams had a chance to present their ideas and gain constructive feedback. Read more here.



Three Youth Enterprise Development Programme alumni were awarded cash prizes at a pitching competition for JASA graduates, held by We Connect at their annual conference at Ernst & Young in Sandton on 1 June. Read more here.

Over 1500 primary and high school learners were exposed to WiSTEM2D careers, through a partnership between J&J and JASA in Gauteng and the Western Cape. This entailed interactive classroom sessions with J&J volunteers and excursions to science and technology centres. The aim was to inspire more girls to pursue studies and careers in WiSTEM2D. Read more here.



This was a peak month due to the overlapping of Mandela Day and Savings Month campaigns; the national Company of the Year Competition, and several Youth Enterprise Development Programme graduations.

Funded by Citi, nine provincial teams came to Johannesburg for two days of intensive strategy, finance and pitching workshops. Then six teams were shortlisted in the first round of Company of the Year and the final presentations took place at a showcase event. The winning team was Meraki, from McAuley House, Johannesburg and their programme was funded by Delta. Our MC, guest speaker and judges at the final event were all JASA alumni! Read more here.


 Thanks to generous grants from Delta Air Lines, JASA alumni Kate Kekana and Ashley Dhlamini attended the first ever JA Worldwide Global Youth Forum, held in Mexico. Read more here.

“My trip to Mexico  was the most extravagant trip ever in life, it was eye-opening and life-changing. I can confidently say I’ve travelled the world because I met people from all over the world and made friends and future business partners.” – Katsana Kate Kekana

On Thursday 26 July, 128 Gauteng-based young women graduated from the coursework component of the JASA Youth Enterprise Development Programme, funded by Mastercard. Other provinces also hosted graduation ceremonies. Mastercard has partnered with JA South Africa for the past eight years, reaching 2 500 young women. Read more here.

Transnet funded several Youth Enterprise Development Programmes, and many fledgling businesses emerged. In Ivory Park, Sibusiso Mkhwanazi mentored 16 students who had collectively created six businesses. Read more here.

From the Transnet-funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme held at the Umkhumbane Entrepreneurial Support Centre in Durban 24 participants have started 19 business ventures, ranging from the making of clothes, shoes and food to starting crèches and beauty salons, and even venturing into construction. Read more here.

This Mandela Day, our More than Money in a Day campaign grew massively 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. Read more here.  

The More than Money Savings Challenge was launched in April, as part of the More than Money programmes sponsored by HSBC. Around 7 500 Grade 7 learners received cardboard money boxes, set savings targets and had twelve weeks to prove they could achieve their targets. Those that did were entered into provincial draws and the highest amount saved was R1650. Read more here.


The Foundation for the Advancement of Entrepreneurial & Technology Education hosted a conference at GEN Africa at 22 On Sloane, supported by JASA. Chartwell Leadership School is setting a benchmark for entrepreneurial education nationwide and this conference marks the next phase of the foundation, which is to extend the learning to 20 other schools.

 JASA has partnered with Chartwell by running financial literacy programmes. JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng presented on how the organisation’s entrepreneurial capacity can be leveraged in the advancement of this culture of entrepreneurship. Read more here.

The KZN Stakeholders Breakfast was successful in terms of networking and bringing new donors on board, specifically a dynamic new partnership with Trade and Investment KZN. Read more here


Funded by Citi, students were pooled from Willomead Secondary in Lenasia, Nova Pioneer High in Ormonde and Curtis Nkondo in Soweto for a Digital Enterprise Programme.

“I learnt that in life people are either with you or not with you and in our company everyone wanted to be a boss and give orders. No one wanted to do the work but at the end of the day everyone wanted to see the work produced. With that said I ended up creating a business selling snacks and a business where people can record in my studio.” – Participant Celokuhle Ncayiyana

  The group was fortunate to have Rooksana Modan, CEO of Apex Development, facilitating some of the sessions. She was one of the many volunteers who gave of their time to visit sessions and teach, inspire and engage with the students. A big shout out to all our wonderful volunteers. You added a personal touch to the programmes and made them memorable learning experiences for the participants. Read more here.

Amahle Makwela, one of the students on this programme, also joined the Molo Africa project, where 20 students spent 10 days building the body of a Sling 4 light aircraft. If sufficient funds are raised then the Molo Africa team plan to fly from Cape to Cairo. You can follow them on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/buildmyplane/ 



Transnet not only funds JA programmes, both in school and out, but has also sponsored the Young Movers Competition for the past five years, from 2014 to 2018, in partnership with the SABS Design Institute.

Participants on JASA programmes at high schools around the country are eligible to enter, by submitting an innovative business solution. Over the years, many participants have remarked that being on a JASA programme, and then being shortlisted to be a finalist in this competition, has been a life-changing event, where they now see the world through entrepreneurial eyes.

Every year finalists have impressed the judges by their ability to recognise needs in their communities and come up with creative solutions. The JASA programmes, and competition like these, are vital ways of exposing students to new ways of thinking and providing them with a platform that allows them to explore their creativity and gain confidence in their ability to shape their own futures, irrespective of their socio-economic background. Clinton Mdluli explains what being on a JASA programme and participating in the Young Movers Competition has meant to him here:

In first place was Terri-Lee Heuvel, from Kensington High in the Western Cape, with her innovation of a watch that can monitor your health. Taking second place, also from Kensington High, was Reece Van der Merwe, who came up with the idea of a wristband with an app that allows parents to locate their children.

Since 2012, Investec has partnered with JASA to host the Junior Innovators Competition (JIC) and 2018 marked the 7th consecutive year. Once again the lucky three winners received generous grants towards their tertiary studies. They were chosen from the 11 finalists, who were shortlisted from the 27 contestants, who made it through the first round and were privileged to attend the JIC week of workshops and pitches.

 First prize went to Kabelo Thato Nkonyane from the National School of Arts in Johannesburg, with an innovation for a Cashless Tuckshop Card. In second place was Kehauhetswe Diamond Machaka from Kgakoa Secondary School for his Lullaby Pillow that helps babies to sleep. Sibongakonke Zulu from Ponelopele Oracle Secondary School came third for his Early Warning Headphones, aimed at keeping pedestrians safe. For all the photos please click through to our Flickr album. To see all the innovative ideas of this year, you can click here and to see the 2018 participants. You can also read more here.

In October, JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng was one of the 250 leaders who came together to shape a path forward to ensure that more youth are empowered, at the 5th annual Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment Conference in Stellenbosch. Read more here.

 “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. 


Bank of Tokyo once again generously sponsored a JA Success Skills Programme for Grade 10s at Liberty Community College. Read more here.

Entrepreneurship Academy Programme beneficiaries from Lamula Jubilee Secondary School attended a leadership and teamwork camp at Bosco Youth Centre in Walkerville, sponsored by Investec.


The regional JA Africa Company of the Year 2018 was held Ghana in December. JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng, Programmes Manager Terence Modiba, Programmes Coordinator Elias Sebola and three members of the South African winning team  Meraki travelled to Accra to attend. Read more here.

This experience made me see that there are a lot of opportunities out there, that we live in a small world, and that it’s not easy to go out there and be what you want. But, by having hope and inspiration, and applying yourself, you can make your dreams come true.” – Team Member Mmatladi Laka

View the team’s presentation, which was filmed by JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng from the audience, here:

Catch Team Meraki’s presentation at Africa Regional COY 2018 here

Please visit our Alumni page to read or watch more inspiring stories of self-empowerment. There are an estimated 100 million JA alumni alive in the world today and local JASA alumni can connect through Gather to network and access other resources such as free motivational videos posted through JA University.

My daily motivation is: “The most powerful asset is me, my most powerful obstacle is me. Entrepreneurship Is not about creating a business but about thinking of how you can tackle life in a successful way,”  recounts Katsana Kate Kekana, JASA Alumnus

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

“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, JA South Africa

Team Meraki have a memorable time at Africa Regional COY in Ghana

Three Mc Auley House students represent South Africa at the Regional COY final in Ghana

The regional JA Africa Company of the Year 2018 was held Ghana in December. JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng, Programmes Manager Terence Modiba, Programmes Coordinator Elias Sebola and three members of the South African winning team  Meraki, who come from
McAuley House in Johannesburg, travelled to Accra to attend. Team member Mmatladi Laka shares her experience and photos from the event:

My experience at Coy was memorable. At first I didn’t know what to expect and so I was nervous. We had done a lot of activities as a team and met a lot of people with successful businesses. We had a lot of motivational speeches from the speakers and it motivated me a lot. This experience made me see that there are a lot of opportunities out there, that we live in a small world, and that it’s not easy to go out there and be what you want. But, by having hope and inspiration ,and applying yourself, you can make your dreams come true.


Ghana is a beautiful country. The people there are wonderful and very convincing. When we went to the market place, we watched how the sellers sold themselves and how they were convincing tourists to buy their goods and not giving up. The people from the hotel were very friendly and the food was outstanding – the chefs outdid themselves every day.

Meeting people from other parts of Africa was a great form of networking and a great opportunity because, as they say, you never know who will be your future boss or future employee.

COY was a wonderful experience and, with the knowledge and guidance that was given, I plan on taking my dreams to the next level. Thanks to JA South Africa for giving me the opportunity to do so.


JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng filmed their presentation from the audience, which you can view here.



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.

Congratulations to all the graduates at McAuley House

Sponsored by Delta, McAuley House students graduate from the Digital Enterprise Programme

Today, McAuley House Grade 10 and 11 students who participated in the JA South Africa Digital Enterprise Programme had their graduation ceremony. Thank you to Delta Airlines, a global sponsor of JA Worldwide, for sponsoring this programme locally.

One of the student company teams at McAuley House is Meraki, which won the South African national Company of the Year Competition. Four team members will represent South Africa at the Africa regional competition. In early December teams from 14 countries will meet in Ghana, which is the 2018 host country as well as the country where the JA Africa regional office is based.

The Meraki team are busy refining their presentations and their products in preparation for travelling to Ghana. They have also had to quickly apply for passports and visas to make sure they are ready to travel.

We wish them all the best with their preparations and we will keep you posted on their adventures in Ghana.