As the 2018 school calendar starts, young people will be looking to take a further step towards completing their studies and realising their dreams. The unfortunate reality facing many of these youngsters, however, is that they don’t have employment opportunities waiting for them once they finish their studies.
The plight of these youngsters is a stark demonstration of the need for other alternatives. And in that regard, both government and the private sector have a key role to play. Many organisations have implemented various programmes aimed at addressing this challenge by empowering the youth and giving them the skills to be able to actively participate in the economy.
The Eskom Development Foundation is one of those organisations, and through its partnership with the Education With Enterprise Trust (EWET), the Foundation has been running an entrepreneurship education competition for learners across the country for the last eight years. The annual Simama Ranta School Entrepreneurship Education Competition is aimed at identifying, rewarding and inspiring South African secondary schools that are leading the way in entrepreneurship education. The competition seeks to encourage young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career instead of studying to become job seekers.
Simama Ranta is open to all South African intermediate and secondary schools and to qualify, applicant schools must run enterprise clubs that teach their learners the basics of business through practical application while responding to their respective communities’ socio-economic challenges.
“A large number of young South Africans who could and should be economically active are marginalised due to a lack of jobs. According to Statistics SA, this number sits at just under 4 million, with some resorting to desperate or even illegal ways of making a living, thereby contributing to some of our social ills like crime and drug abuse. As the Eskom Foundation, we are trying to be part of the solution through initiatives like Simama Ranta, as we look to help boost our economy and improve the lives of South Africans,” says CEO of the Eskom Development Foundation, Cecil Ramonotsi.