Tech in South Africa is on the rise, yet the country is still facing many challenges, including unemployment and the prospect of automation. It’s estimated that 90% of all jobs in the future will require some level of digital skills or capability. Here are a few more fast facts about the tech job landscape:
- 98% of South African CEOs say they are worried about the availability of key skills for the future.
- An estimated 5.7 million jobs in South Africa are at risk of total automation. Strong tech skills are essential in order to stay relevant in the job market.
- South Africa has a national unemployment rate of 27,2%, with the country’s youth (ages 15-34) being largely affected.
These five innovative initiatives are helping to make education and employment in the tech sector more accessible to South African youth.
The YES Initiative
Summary: The Youth Employment Service (YES) programme is a collaboration between business and government, focused on helping black South African youth in urban, peri-urban and rural areas.
Objectives: The programme aims to create one million new jobs and job opportunities for young people in South Africa, over the next three years. The YES initiative successfully found work opportunities for 4,600 young people in 2018.
Apply: You can find out more about the programme and application criteria online.
Summary: The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (or CiTi) is the oldest tech incubator in Africa. CiTi works with government, business and society to promote the inclusive growth of the digital economy. CapaCiTi is CiTi’s technology skills and job readiness programme.
Objectives: In 2018, CiTi announced a significant scale up of the CapaCiTi programme, having unlocked R250 million to support technology skills and job creation. Over the next three years, the programme aims to train more than 3,000 young people with in-demand technology and business skills, and place them in permanent jobs.
The Innovation Hub
Summary: The Innovation Hub is the innovation agency of the Gauteng Province, based in Pretoria. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, established by the Gauteng Provincial Government through its Department of Economic Development.
Objectives: The Innovation Hub aims to promote economic development and competitiveness of Gauteng, by fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. Their programmes include skills development initiatives like the FabLab Schools Programme, and the CoachLab skills and leadership development programme.
Apply: You can find out more about skills development and business incubation offerings from The Innovation Hub online.
Summary: Silicon Cape is a non-profit, community-driven initiative in the Western Cape. It’s a community of tech entrepreneurs, developers, creatives and investors.
Objectives: The initiative aims to improve the environment in the Western Cape to create and improve start-ups, and increase access to capital.
Apply: You can join the Silicone Cape community by applying for membership online.
Summary: JoziHub is a co-creation space in Johannesburg
Objectives: JoziHub is looking to transform the technology industry by connecting entrepreneurs and developers with the critical resources they need. It has partnered with industry heavyweights like Google for Entrepreneurs, and Omidyar Network.
Apply: JoziHub offers networking, mentorship and workspace services. Read more online to find out how this initiative can help you launch your tech career.
Summary: This Nedbank-backed initiative is based in Stellenbosch, and forms part of the University’s Innovus initiative for technology transfer, entrepreneurial support and development, and innovation.
Objectives: The LaunchLab offers incubation space, pitching competitions, workshops and more, to help tech start-ups and entrepreneurs. The initiative has raised R110 million since 2016.
Apply: You can complete the Lift-Off Application Form online to become a part of the LaunchLab.
The Sable Accelerator
Summary: The Sable Accelerator is an international partnership group dedicated to helping South African entrepreneurs and start-ups to promote and commercialise their technology innovations.
Objectives: The accelerator aims to promote and protect intellectual property, fund new business concepts, finance growth, and help South Africans expand into global markets. It is powered by MentorCloud, a cloud-based mentorship platform, which also works with the University of the Witwatersrand Alumni Association.
Apply: Become a member and take advantage of Sable’s tech acceleration services.
Another less traditional route towards a recognised coding qualification is to sign up for an online coding bootcamp. This learning pathway is quicker, more flexible and more affordable than a traditional Computer Science degree. Read some of our student success stories, to find out how we’ve helped South African learners to find employment or switch careers.