Citi-funded Digital Enterprise Programme enlists students from three schools

Students from three high schools meet on Saturdays for successful Digital Enterprise Programme

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 that ran on Saturdays.

The sessions were held at Curtis Nkondo, which was the first of 27 schools of specialisation to be opened by the Gauteng Department of Education. The aim of these schools is to offer technical and vocational skills to high school pupils with a keen interest in engineering, math, science, ICT and commerce, entrepreneurship as well as performing arts and sports.

Learners formed three companies and were initially taken through the comprehensive Lean Canvas Model, which highlights the importance of problem solving in the process of developing products and services.

One of the participants in the programme, Celokuhle Ncayiyana, a student at Curtis Nkondo, who belonged to the company called Creative Legacy, explained that his team first wanted to make a photo booth but in the end decided to provide a photographic service. As stock controller he was responsible for trying to procure the materials needed but there were differences of opinion in the group as to what material would be best so in the end they decided to rather take pictures.

“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.”

Ncayiyana went on to explain that the decision was made to liquidate the company at the end of the programme since not everyone was pulling their weight, which meant some members would have to take on several positions while others didn’t participate. The experience provided valuable lessons on the importance of choosing your company partners well and on what it takes to build a team.

One of the other companies, Oricals Corporation, developed a shock bracelet, which lightly shocks the wearer if they start drifting to sleep, which is particularly useful for academic and work environments. According to their company report: “The shock will not be painful and uses mostly short bursts of vibrations rather than comprising solely of actual electricity. This creates an actual shock rather than hurting the wearer.”

Is there anyone willing to test wear this self-correcting accessory?

The group was fortunate to have Rooksana Modan , CEO of Apex Development, attend some of the sessions to provide valuable insight into how to be successful in business.

Amahle Makwela is one of the students on this programmewho also joined the Molo Africa project, where 20 students spent 10 days building the body of a Sling 4 light aircraft, which has a capacity of four. The students are learning to fly and if sufficient funds are raised then the Molo Africa team plan to fly from Cape to Cairo, You can follow them on Facebook: 

On the left he is pictured with Programme Manager Terence Modiba and below is the plane body they built.


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.



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:



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.



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

Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation partners with JASA to provide STEM2D Programmes to one cohort for six consecutive years

This pilot, which was launched this year, will continue until 2023, as a partnership between JA South Africa and the Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation, with key implementing partner Siyafunda CTC.

The same cohort of more than 600 learners will be exposed to a range of Science, Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing and Design (STEM2D) Programmes, as they move from primary school through their high school careers.

The aim of this pilot is to redress the tendency in South Africa, which is mirrored on the rest of the continent, for learners to disregard careers in STEM in favour of other disciplines. It is estimated that only around 26% of graduates in South Africa graduate with a STEM-related degree, which is largely due to students not being exposed to STEM2D opportunities during their educational careers.

Tragically, the massive job shortage in South Africa is coupled with a skills shortage in STEM2D subjects, making it necessary to outsource jobs in these fields to foreign contractors. To compound the situation South Africa was ranked last out of 138 countries across the world for the quality of Science and Mathematics education, in The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2016 – 2017.

In-school experiential STEM education programmes can expose young people to careers in STEM2D subjects. Since 2012, JASA has partnered with corporates to promote STEM education and careers to students through career campaigns. In 2016, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, JASA successfully piloted the Opportunities Out There Programme focusing on encouraging young women to consider careers in STEM2D.

The following schools are participating in the six year pilot launched this year:

Krugersdorp, Gauteng

Matlhasedi Primary School and Madiba Secondary School

Welkom, Free State

Setshabelo Primary School and Letsete Secondary School

Acornhoek, Mpumalanga

Berreta Primary School and Acorn to Oaks Comprehensive High School

In this first year, the cohort is in the final year of primary school and are participating in JA’s Opportunities Out There – STEM2D Programme, with its variety of hands-on activities and technological supplements. These Grade 7s first learn what STEM2D is and progress to studying the professions in these fields, then learning what it takes to build a successful STEM2D business. In the subsequent programmes the focus will be on technology, entrepreneurship and work readiness.

In the course of the learning cycle, they will apply core STEM2D skills of research, analysis, application of findings, coding, algebra and structural design. A gaming and experiential approach will assist in keeping students engaged and interested, which will ensure retention.

JA South Africa is developing and providing the learning materials, and training the facilitators and educators. The Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation is providing the funding and our key implementing partner Siyafunda CTC will provide computer technology and coding expertise. The Department of Basic Education has assisted with recommending the schools and professionals from business, industry and academia will be consulted, as needed.

In addition to the production of learning materials and implementation of STEM2D activities, JASA will be involved in:

  • Establishing networks of STEM2D role models
  • Arranging study tours to industries, businesses and universities
  • Selecting countries to partner with for student exchange programmes
  • Supporting readiness for university and college with STEM2D programmes
  • Running STEM2D related clubs and enterprises in schools
  • Monitoring and reporting on the programme

The aim is to prepare this cohort of students for meaningful economic participation in STEM2D fields when they complete their studies and refine their creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication skills.


Investec-sponsored JA programme reaches 168 learners

In preparation for the school Market Day, Elethu Themba Secondary School learners brush up on their financial literacy skills

   Made possible through sponsorship by Investec’s Kgomo Project, 168 Grade 8 learners at Elethu Themba Secondary School in Eikenhof, Gauteng, played the Wealth Creation Game (aka “The Spaza Shop game”) in a one-day intervention.

The students create team companies and navigate their way through a game, where they need to make business and financial decisions. As they go along they keep a record of how their business is doing financially and at the end of the game they calculate their overall profits to see whose business was the most successful. This hands-on experience enables learners to understand the financial implications of business decisions.

These learners went through the JA Enterprise Dynamics Programme last year, where they set up a mini-business. In that programme the role STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) play in a variety of employment options, including self-employment, is explored.

These students are part of a pilot intervention that entails exposing this same cohort of learners to successive JA programmes as they move from primary school through high school.

Lebo Moholobela, HOD for Business Studies, expressed her enthusiasm about the programme and comented on how well it brought brought the school coursework to life for the students.

“The Grade 8 learners related well to the materials and responded positively to the questions asked by the facilitator. Even the more academically challenged students were responding well. This financial literacy programme has enhanced the skills and knowledge of the students in terms of understanding finances as opposed to simply recording numbers, as some students were doing previously. If this programme could be continuous the performance of students would improve even more, especially just before the exams, then this could be very helpful to them,” she said.



From retrenchment to entrepreneur: Rubin Witbooi’s story

For Rubin Witbooi it took being retrenched to pursue his dream of owning a business

Two years ago, Rubin Witbooi’s world was destabilised when he was retrenched from the vending machine company he was employed at. After this, he began to assist a family member with running a tuck-shop. Though this was a helpful stopgap it was hardly a sustainable option for a man with a family to support.

With a knowledge of vending machines and having honed the skills needed to work with, and maintain, this kind of equipment, Witbooi began to think about starting his own venture. However, the challenge of getting out of the starting blocks seemed insurmountable.

  Fortunately, JASA was hosting a Youth Enterprise Development Programme at Eureka Hub in Masakhe in Mitchells Plain and Witbooi joined the programme. This is one of five such programmes funded by Transnet around the country.

Witbooi signed up to gain an understanding of how to run a small business so he could manifest his entrepreneurial dream. Through the sessions, he began to create records and get organised. He drafted a business plan and identified his target market. One of the most difficult aspects of learning how to manage a business  was getting to grips with costing, in terms of breaking down all the costs and then projecting profits based on the costs, he says.

Since the business was evolving quickly and Witbooi had already secured funding through a private investor, the facilitator initiated one-on-one additional mentorship sessions with Witbooi.

With the foundational building blocks of his business laid, he began to register his company on various databases to begin securing clients. In addition, wherever he went, he was on the lookout for potential venues.

One night he was at the Trauma Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital and really wanted a cup of coffee. There was no facility in the hospital. And even if he wanted to risk walking the neighbouring streets after dark there was no place open, so he went without. This made him realise what an excellent venue the hospital would be for a vending machine that dispenses hot beverages. He got in touch with the necessary person and after some negotiation he secured a year-long contract that launched from the beginning of June 2018.

Having a contract with one government institution makes it more likely to received more contracts as a supplier on their database. With the knowledge he has gained thus far, his projected earnings are far beyond what he could previously have imagined.



Learners start to make realistic choices for their future

Making proactive choices about your path in life 

Being on a JASA programme has helped learner Nondumiso Msoni to start thinking about the realistic choices she needs to make to secure a good future. Also, this process has built her self-confidence and given her a more positive attitude to life.

She is a participant on a JASA Entrepreneurship Academy Programme funded by Investec. Her school, Douglas Mbopa High in Motherwell, took the proactive step of contacting JASA’s agent in Port Elizabeth, Ysanne Bosman, to request that JASA run a programme for them.

Additional Saturday sessions were added to the once-a-week Wednesday meetings to ensure the students covered the course material thoroughly. With the school located in a historically disadvantaged community, this entrepreneurial programme provides much needed skills development and confidence building.

Facilitator Mpumi Mgandela comments: “We teach the students theory and the process of them putting it into practice makes the experience powerful. While equipping them with skills, they are also having a lot of fun.”

Students have created two team companies, Florentino and Our Young Achievers. In the product development phase the students went into their community to do market research about the products they would later develop and sell.


In the winter school holidays the students will visit two companies on a field trip located in the Nelson Mandela Bay region. This will give them the opportunity to see a production line in action and interview staff and team leaders and then come back with their findings.

Self-styled Grade 10 motivator and innovator, Msoni, is CEO of Florentino. Her company chose to make various kinds of candles. One of the challenges they had to deal with is staff members not pitching up for meetings due to other school commitments. She admits that they should have done better market research when developing the product.

We did not really analyse what was already available in the market,” Msoni says.                                                

What a great insight to have learnt now, which can pay off if Msoni ventures into business in the future. Despite being a student company they even have a CSI initiative – donating clothes to the community.


JASA hosts workshops at STEAM Kasi Career Expo in Soweto and in Mpumalanga

JASA hosts workshops at STEAM Kasi Career Expo in Soweto and in Mpumalanga

The fourth annual Kasi Career Expo will be travelling around South Africa to all provinces through 2018. The first expo was held in Soweto on January 27 at the Elkah Stadium and then, on March 10, the expo moved to the Shongwe Boarding School in Mpumalanga.

The aim of the fair is to highlight opportunities in the sectors of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) by connecting students from rural and township communities to recruiters, funders and mentors at top local organisations and providing them with tools to support them along their career journeys.

JASA hosted 90-minute workshops to engage high school students to start thinking about how they can take an idea and turn it into an entrepreneurial venture. Students were guided through a business simulation called The Spaza Shop, where the learners form teams and have to make business decisions. They need to think carefully because each decision has a negative or positive impact – leading to either profit or loss – and ultimately all the decisions collectively determine whether the business is successful and sustainable or not. Winning businesses were identified and a review done to assess why they achieved success.

This activity forms part of two JASA programmes aimed at students between Grade 10 and 12, the Enterprise programme, which consists of 12 sessions and up, and the longer Academy Entrepreneurship Programme. Learning is experiential and over the course of the programme the learners go through the phases of creating and developing a business, based on identifying a product or service and then use this as a basis to create and develop a business. In total, JASA has reached around 750 learners so far through these workshops. The feedback was very positive, with many students commenting that they had never been exposed to an entrepreneurship simulation before and that it had got them to consider entrepreneurship as a career option.



JASA hosts More than Money in a Day for Global Money Week

JASA hosts More than Money in a day for Global Money Week



As part of Global Money Week, JASA teamed up with the Banking Association of South Africa and the Gauteng Department of Education EMS to host the More than Money Programme in a Day at the Mveledzandivho Primary School in Chaiwelo, Gauteng. Grade 7 students from this school and two others in the area learnt about the value of money and how to manage it through interactive activities and games.


Junior Achievement South Africa facilitated the sessions with the assistance of teachers and volunteers, which included Petros Maneje from @OperationHOPESA, a Banking Association South Africa partner. The teachers underwent training on the course content a week before the event.

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

Peter Van Wyk Gauteng Department of Education Head Office, Charles Mpofu from Nedbank, and Sinah Raseroka and Thabang Letlotlo, also Gauteng Department of Education

Petros Maneje, Operation Hope South Africa, with Junior Achievement South Africa staff members Abdul Rajah and Terence Modiba