The City of Tshwane, along with a number of stakeholders and partners including Absa, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the University of Pretoria, wants to continue to train, up skill and inspire more of the city's young people to be willing and able enough to start up their own businesses in order to combat a sluggish local economy.
The city's Tshepo10K, launched in 2013 and aimed at providing skills training and employment opportunities to 10 000 of the city's youth, has begun to bear fruit. Tembeka Mhlekwa, Tshwane’s head of economic development, who also spoke at the event, said she was happy with the progress of the project so far, and hoped that it would be a prime example for other municipalities on how to tackle youth unemployment.
The multimillion-rand project includes a collaboration with the University of Pretoria to train unemployed young people with a number of rigorous and intensive business management courses.
These offer them the chance to learn practical and necessary skills and expertise to start businesses that grow and succeed. The training includes learning how to use that business to successfully tender for government procurement contracts.
After training, the candidates then form business co-operatives and are placed in internships in the city's various utility departments, such as electricity and energy, water and sanitation, roads and transport, housing and human settlements, and environmental management. More than 190 co-operatives have already been established through the project. These businesses operate across the Tshwane municipality and bring much-needed services to residents.