BY FUNDISWA NKWANYANA - 22 September 2022
Thulisile Dlamini founder of Ikusasa Technology Solutions.
The 2022 Critical Skills List published by the South African government found that South Africa lacks at least 70 000 ICT professionals. South Africa needs accredited training institutions that will empower people with ICT skills and this is why Thulisile Dlamini started Ikusasa Technology Solutions.
Her social impact business is focused on providing internationally-accredited ICT training with a special focus on upskilling learners in rural and remote areas where access to ICT training is limited. Dlamini’s passion for providing access to skills development training is her childhood dream
“I studied in township schools, and I had limited access to quality education and career guidance, the challenges I faced inspired me to make it easier for people to access quality education,” said Dlamini.
Today her award-winning business has a national footprint and offers internationally accredited and certified ICT training and consulting. The pulse of this multifaceted business is in Dlamini’s passion for education.
She believes access to quality education is a basic human right and she uses her business to make it easily accessible. Before deciding on which courses to offer students, her team conducts in-depth research to find out which skills the job sector requires.
ICT skills training
The youth unemployment rate is high, and many people in rural areas have limited access to ICT training facilities. To address this challenge, Ikusasa Technology Solutions sets up temporary learning facilities in remote areas, making access to education accessible.
“We have worked with learners that were not exposed to technology, many have never even touched a laptop before,” she said. “That is why I’m proud of our 85% average pass and our 80% job placement rate for our students.”
Her team is passionate about introducing and empowering young people with IT skills such as robotics and coding. Dlamini is concerned that young people are our future leaders but many of them are not computer literate. She believes that young people should be exposed to technology and upskilled because South Africa’s job market needs people who are skilled in cyber security, automation, and virtual reality.
Starting and growing a training academy was not easy for Dlamini but her perseverance continues to help her remain stable and profitable. She believes that developing their own learning management system to reach remote areas was a progressive way forward for her business.
Running a small business in the ICT sector is challenging and for Dlamini her challenges are working in a male-dominated sector, limited access to capital and finding clients to work with. “I find myself working twice as much than my male colleagues, my business is viewed as high risk by banks and it’s difficult to get business finance,” she said.
Despite these challenges the business is growing and was recently announced as the winner of the prestigious digital education award at the SITA Digital Public Service Awards 2022.
“I was pleasantly surprised when I was nominated, I didn’t expect to win and I’m excited that the work we do is recognised,” said Dlamini.
The award also came with a R100 000 cash prize, and the business was recognised for outstanding achievements in the South African education ICT sector. Dlamini’s ability to implement digital education as an effective tool for learning contributed to making her the category winner.
Strategic growth plans for the business are underway and Dlamini is determined to ensure that children in rural and remote areas are equipped with internationally-accredited ICT skills.
‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’