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    Smangele Nkosi | 30 January 2022 Young millennials african friends on outdoor gym. Happy black people having fun together. Generation Z friendship concept. Image by ASphotofamily on Freepik Unemployment in South Africa, especially among the youth, is undoubtedly the most important socioeconomic challenge. For the last two decades, the unemployment rate has exceeded 20%. At the end of 2021, it reached a record high of 35%, making South Africa one of the countries with the highest unemployment rate in the world. Recently, however, the Quarterly Labour Force Survey revealed that South Africa’s overall unemployment rate decreased to 32.9% and our youth unemployment rate decreased to 45.5% in the third quarter of 2022. This improvement, while marginal, gives cause for optimism. But continuing this upward trend will require us to consider the future of work. Technological innovation is leading to major disruptions in nearly every industry, while digital skills are in short supply. Concerns over mass job displacement are looming due to artificial intelligence and automation. The private and public sectors must accelerate efforts to prepare our workforce for this technological shift. The future of work In 2017, the World Economic Forum estimated that 15 to 20 million increasingly well-educated young people are expected to join the African workforce every year for the next three decades. According to the report, Sub-Saharan Africa only captures 55% of its human capital potential, compared to a global average of 65%. In the coming years, fully utilising this growing workforce will require providing quality jobs and the necessary skills to do them. The traditional view of employment opportunities is fast becoming outdated. Organisations are no longer looking for employees with tertiary qualifications and years of experience with legacy technologies. Certifications in and knowledge of newer digital technologies are more sought after. Businesses are pushing their digital transformation efforts to remain competitive in today’s digitally driven markets – and they need professionals with the right skills to fully leverage these technologies. The new business environment revolves around digital transformation-related technologies such as cloud architecture and data centres, cybersecurity, Internet of Things, and machine learning. Cybersecurity, for example, has become a priority for most organisations, but there is a massive shortage of cybersecurity professionals to meet this demand. And, considering that South Africa had the third most cybercrime victims worldwide in 2019 at a cost of R2.2 billion a year, filling this skills gap is not only crucial for creating job opportunities, but also for protecting the country’s public and private sectors. The need for digital skills With the emergence of disruptive technologies comes a dramatic change in the demand for skills related to those technologies. Africa’s defining challenge will be how to educate and upskill individuals in line with changing business and innovation demands. Otherwise, we risk exacerbating the continent’s existing digital divide. The Future of Jobs Report 2020 estimated that, on average, 15% of a company’s workforce is at risk of disruption and 6% of employees are expected to be displaced by 2025. Alarmingly, the World Bank’s Global Competitiveness Report 2020 found that South Africa experienced the second-largest decline in the perceived adequacy of graduate skills when compared to other G20 economies. South Africa was also among the five countries that showed the largest decline in the perceived relevance of digital skills. This highlights the urgent need for prioritising digital transformation and innovation in order to improve our employment figures. Those without relevant skills are less likely to find employment opportunities and are at the greatest risk of being replaced by automation. But, if we can provide them with opportunities to upskill or reskill themselves, we may see dramatic improvement to our unemployment rate. Digital skills are in high demand globally. There are 700,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs around the world, all while South Africa sits at a critical junction regarding access to adequate cybersecurity talent and know-how. The last few years have seen critical infrastructure and public institutions, such as Transnet and the Department of Justice, suffer debilitating cyberattacks, highlighting how important it is that we improve these skills. Private sector investment Global organisations are realising the importance and value of investing in education and entrepreneurship. Various sectors of the South African economy can benefit from doing the same. The Cisco Networking Academy, for example, is one of the largest and longest running IT skills-to-jobs programmes in the world. To date, over 7.5 million learners across 190 countries have enrolled – at no cost – in courses to gain digital skills. Of these learners, more than 1.07 million come from Sub-Saharan Africa, and 189,272 South Africans from underrepresented and underserved communities have received digital skills and training. The academy also facilitates hiring opportunities for students following their graduation, thanks to a database available to employers and Cisco partners globally. The efficacy of these programmes in addressing unemployment has been remarkable. 95% of students who have taken Cisco certification-aligned courses have attributed obtaining a job or education opportunity to the Cisco Networking Academy. Cisco also plans to expand the programme to provide training to 25 million learners globally over the next 10 years. By continually learning and adapting our education institutions to current technological innovations and enterprise requirements, we set ourselves up to thrive in the future with the skills we will all need. Securing Africa’s future Providing tomorrow’s workforce and South Africa’s 4.6 million unemployed young job seekers with the skills and capabilities needed for the future of work is our only way forward. But efforts to do so cannot come from the public sector. At the United States–Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC, which took place in December 2022, Cisco announced it would contribute around R3.4 billion towards resources and training facilities for digital skills in Africa, including schools, instructors, tools, and curricula. This contribution forms part of a commitment to train as many as 3 million Africans in digital and cybersecurity skills and improve the continent’s digital capabilities. Bridging the digital skills gap in Africa is a monumental task that will necessitate close collaboration between the private and public sectors. And, to make the connection between education and real business needs, private sector investment must go toward training, certifications, and e-learning programmes. If we wish to create sustainable employment opportunities for Africa’s workforce tomorrow, we need to upskill our workforce today. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Sandi Krige | 30 January 2023 Vhembe TVET College, Makwarela Campus in Limpopo. /Vhembe TVET College Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges are at the heart of addressing unemployment and skills development. These higher-level education institutions prepare students from Grade 10 onward for knowledge and practical skills in the working world. South Africa’s TVET colleges are the backbone of South Africa’s future workforce and are especially geared towards students with strong practical and technical skills. South Africa has fifty TVET colleges that provide both theoretical and practical education in over 300 subjects across a wide range of jobs. TVET colleges also offer the fastest, most cost-effective and most efficient way to enter the workplace in the shortest time. SA’s TVET colleges are viewed as institutions of choice by the Department of Higher Education, which also offers government grants through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Students have the choice of learning in one of the 200 TVET campuses across the nine provinces in addition to over 300 registered private colleges, all of which offer education and training in preparation for skilled employment. TVET colleges will enrol over 550 000 students this year. The initial goal was to build college capacity to 2.5-million by 2030, indicating the importance the government attaches to this skilling sector. However, this scheme has fallen behind since Covid-19. “We are working hard to accelerate our TVET sector,” says Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology. Strategies are in place to provide subsidised financial support to all students and to provide 100 000 work-based opportunities for students to complete their training.” Nzimande also announced a scheme to fast-track innovation by twinning the Department of Science and Innovation with the Department of Higher Education, to work with TVET colleges to boost innovation projects. The two departments will collaborate to promote entrepreneurship. TVET colleges offer a vast array of courses with broad appeal that include: Finance, Economics and Accounting; Management; Tourism; Beauty, skin, and hair; Electrical Infrastructure Construction; Engineering and Related Design; Agriculture; Health; Civil Engineering and Building Construction; Drawing Office Practice; Hospitality; Education and Development; Information Technology and Computer Science; Marketing; Mechatronics; Process Instrumentation; Process Plant Operations; Safety in Society; Plumbing; Nursing; Upholstery and Administration. The skilled trade qualifications provided by colleges also provide jobs that are always in high demand like electrical work, plumbing, technical applications, maintenance, hairdressing, secretarial and beauty. There are many benefits in choosing a TVET or Community College to earn a diploma or certificate, or one of the NFQ qualifications offered: – College entrance is from Grade 10. – Most matric results accepted. – Finance is available to families who earn less than R350 000 a month. – Courses are shorter, usually 18 months to 36 months. – Courses include educational, technical, and theoretical skills and are hands-on. – Qualifications can be completed through on-the-job training. – TVET courses are suited to those who prefer practice over theory. – They give an earlier start to earning potential, and provide a stepping-stone to further education. – South Africa has a trades skills shortage. The future economy is dependent on TVET graduates who are highly skilled for work placement and this is indicated by the number of college graduates who successfully enter the job market. Prospective students who are still seeking space for an entry-level course should contact their colleges of choice soonest for enrolment in 2023. With four million applications for 163 000 places at universities, many applicants can still follow their career of choice at college. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’


    Marleny Arnoldi | 28 January 2023 The South African National Energy Association (Sanea), together with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), has launched an ‘Energy Skills Roadmap’ for South Africa, highlighting the human capacity skills necessary to deliver the technical energy solutions and socioeconomic improvements that make up a just energy transition. The roadmap is informed by research, gap analysis and stakeholder engagement workshops having been undertaken in earnest since 2020 by Sanea, Wits’ Centre for Researching Education and Labour (REAL) and Wits Business School’s African Energy Leadership Centre. The research is supported by the South African BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Business Council and was funded by the Deutsche Gesselschaft fuel Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). GIZ promotes inclusive societies, economic development, climate change mitigation measures and the transition to new energy sources in South Africa. Sanea chairperson Kiren Maharaj said the deepening energy crisis in South Africa, coupled with emerging global and domestic trends towards cleaner energy, had put pressure on the sector to transform. As a result, huge uncertainty existed, which necessitated a skills roadmap that was responsive and took into account the changing terrain. “This means that flexibility and contingencies need to be built into any skills roadmap, as well as continual tracking of the environment as uncertainties unfold,” she added. Some of the key trends influencing skills requirements include technology drivers – such as renewable energy and hydrogen, energy storage and smart technologies. Other developments such as ‘prosumerism’, which involves people producing their own electricity at a lower cost than buying electricity from municipal or national grids; and new business models, greening of systems, sector coupling, new value chains and the acceleration of social change have also been examined for their impact. Sanea and Wits deem the biggest influencing factors around the South African energy system and requisite skills as the widening energy cost gap, socioeconomic considerations such as youth employment, deteriorating energy security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, the shift towards sector coupling, evolving energy markets, automation and digitalisation. The researchers factored these trends into the analysis of both the supply and demand for skills in the next 50 years. The energy skills roadmap does a deep dive into the specifics of the jobs and corresponding skills these changes will require. REAL director Dr Presha Ramsarup explained that the process around the development of the roadmap marked a significant departure for the sector as a whole, as it brought together government, business, labour, research and civil society stakeholders to jointly identify what skills were needed both now and in future, and, in turn, what educational responses were needed. She pointed out that skills were often tagged on at the end rather than coherently planned for as an integral part of industrial and technical planning. DEEP DIVE Sanea secretary general Wendy Poulton said the ‘Energy Skills Roadmap’ had found there was an adequate supply of traditional energy courses; however, they largely lack a focus on areas of specialisation. For example, specialisations that deal with renewables and clean energy. This is in contrast to industry developments where the provision of electricity is largely biased towards renewables – particularly solar, but not so much on grid integration and energy efficiencies. The energy-related labour market in South Africa is distributed across coal (40%), oil and petroleum (38%), natural gas (8%), renewable energy (8%), electricity (6%) and marginally in nuclear. Skills that are currently required and which are expected to be required in the future, include fields such as technical competencies for maintenance, such as accredited electricians, diesel mechanics, welders and boilermakers, as well as electricity distribution skills, such as grid maintenance skills. Additionally, there is a whole area of skills required to deal with the enabling jobs and occupations such the legal regulatory environment, pricing and finance. Poulton explained people would typically have to be multi-skilled in what was becoming a more dynamic environment. However, the most in-demand occupations for fixing deteriorating energy security relate to maintenance and infrastructure (including substation planners and electrical engineers), system management (such as power distribution managers, project managers and statistical modellers) and governance (such as auditors, finance directors and senior government officials). The top-most commonly cited occupations in demand are electrical engineer, power distribution engineer, electrical engineering technician, environmental scientist, process design engineer, power transmission engineer, electrical engineering technologist, social scientist, operations manager for production, policy adviser, investment analyst, finance director, human resource manager, business development manager, supply chain practitioner, electrician, environmental engineer, public policy manager, lawyer, regulatory affairs officer, maintenance planner, legal adviser and marketing practitioner. Among the ‘critical’ occupations in the energy transition include air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics, civil engineers and technicians, and construction project managers. Among the soft skills identified as critical are communication, project management, leadership, emotional intelligence and problem solving. In terms of the general response of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges and universities, it was found to be fragmented rather than the coordinated response required to deal with the energy transition. Another key issue to emerge from the ‘Energy Skills Roadmap’ is that, as the energy transition unfolds, it is expected to be a decentralising process which will require more localised capability. In view of this, the role of community and TVET colleges in areas where renewable technology is emerging will become important in terms of provision, as in the case of the Northern Cape. It would appear that, currently, these institutions are not being sufficiently responsive to such developments. The demand for future skills is expected to be shaped by climate change and decarbonisation, thus concentrating skills demand in electrical maintenance, energy efficiency, energy planning, ongoing monitoring and solution-finding skills. Other findings in the ‘Energy Skills Roadmap’ include that the public service sector has largely been focusing on traditional energy jobs while the private sector is being more responsive to renewables and alternate technologies and is looking for specialists in, for example, green hydrogen and in other areas that will support their energy transitions. Ultimately, what the ‘Energy Skills Roadmap’ illustrates is that for the broader energy sector to cope with future uncertainty and rapid change, a multipronged approach that includes ongoing engagement and more systematic skills anticipation processes that bring together key stakeholders – both in demand and supply – will be needed. The researchers agreed that, overall, ongoing engagement around skills and future demand patterns, including latent demand, was critical. The full report comprising Sanea and Wits’ research will be available on January 30. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Staff Writer | 28 January 2023 Power utility Eskom says it has no plans to retrench any workers, following claims from trade union Solidarity that the group intends to retrench 500 white employees. The utility said it noted that claims, which allege that Eskom is planning to “get rid of” 500 white maintenance workers as part of the latest Employment Equity Plan for 2023 – 2025. “Eskom wishes to reassure the public that there are neither plans nor decisions to retrench any employees, whatever their gender or race,” it said. Solidarity this week said that it had alerted its legal team over apparent plans and threatened to take Eskom to court over the “race-based targets”. However, Eskom said that the Employment Equity Plan was a part of internal discussions and that no decisions on any of the matters raised by Solidarity had been taken. It pointed out that retrenchments in South Africa are regulated by Section 189 (3) of the Labour Relations Act of 1995, with strict requirements on appropriate consultations with all the relevant stakeholders, including the recognised trade unions. “These consultations must clearly spell out the reasons and conditions under which retrenchments can be allowed. Discrimination based on race or gender does not qualify as a criterion for retrenchment,” it said. Eskom said the document referred to by Solidarity is part of internal consultations on employment equity with trade unions, which amongst others, seek to verify the information for correctness and solicit inputs on targets as well as the required affirmative action measures. “As per the consultation process, all parties are afforded an opportunity to engage, clarify, and suggest alternatives before final decisions are taken.” Eskom said that it is “unfortunate, opportunistic, and unprofessional” for Solidarity, or any party to the confidential internal consultations, “to opt to cause unnecessary panic and fear, creating sensation among staff and in the media before allowing the internal processes to make the appropriate decision”. “Eskom’s transformation agenda and employment practices are guided by our values, operational requirements, and the country‘s labour laws rather than race. We are committed to achieving diversity, equity and inclusion in a responsible and sustainable manner,” it said. “Eskom acknowledges the concerns of all South Africans regarding the current energy crisis. We have put in place measures to bolster the critical skills required to improve plant performance. Amongst others, as Eskom has regularly communicated, these include recruiting retired former employees and other specialist skills that have the potential to help resolve the energy crisis. “These are South Africans of all hues and gender,” it said. Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter this week told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts that the recruitment drive launched in late 2022 to draw critical technical and engineering skills to the utility was a great success and that the company received thousands of CVs. He said the group was currently in the process of going through the CVs to find the best people to fill critical skills gaps. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Department of Employment and Labour | 27 January 2023 South Africa remains the most unequal country in the world – says Employment and Labour Inspector-General, Moiloa There is very little to show in terms of transformation in the workplace in South Africa even after 24 years the country entered into democracy. This is according to the Department of Employment and labour Deputy Director-General Inspection and Enforcement Service, Ms Aggy Moiloa. Ms Moiloa was delivering a keynote address during the Department of Employment and Labour’s Employment Equity Breakfast Session at the Da Vinci Hotel in Sandton, Gauteng today (27 January 2023). The purpose of the Breakfast Session, themed: “It begins with the will, desire and a decision to commit to transformation”, was meant to debrief and inform various stakeholders such as the employers and employment consultancy on the following: Overview of Employment Equity and Transformation of Workplaces 2021/22 Financial Year. Status of Compliance with Employment Equity Employment Equity Amendment Bill 2018 And included an open discussion in relevant matters with concerned stakeholders in the programme “Unfortunately 24 years later (since the enactment of the Employment Equity Act in 1998) EEA, when it comes to the area of employment equity, we have got very little to show in terms of transformation. All of us by choice or by default can be an activist for transformation. Our slight posture as a country, it surely really its ugly head even in the instance of pioneering and driving transformation,” said Ms Moiloa. Ms Moiloa said compliance levels with EEA remains regretfully low and said that the low levels of compliance frustrate the intention of policy interventions. “So the issue of non-compliance with the Employment Equity cushions and sustains unpalatable tendencies. South Africa remains the most unequal country in the world. Discrimination runs too deep. Transformation leaves a lot to be desired. The level of compliance is even more unacceptable,” Ms Moiloa. Ms Moiloa said in the 2021 to 2022 financial year, the level of non-compliance in terms of the Employment Equity is at six percent of compliance and 96 percent for non-compliance. The Breakfast Session was also attended by other speakers such as the Chairperson of the Commission for Employment Equity, Ms Tabea Kabinde, who presented on the 21st Employment Equity Report; Mr Mxolisi Yabo, Deputy Director: Statutory Services presented on the Employment Equity Amendment Bill 2018 and Advocate Fikiswa Bede, Chief Director: Advocacy Stakeholder Relations – who shared the status of compliance with Employment Equity by employers in the country. Ms Bede told attendees that 860 inspections on Employment Equity have been conducted across the country from April to December 2022. However, only 12 employers were found to be compliant and 848 were found to be non-compliant. “So, the levels of non-compliance really frustrate the intention of policy intervention which seeks to achieve transformation in the labour market and we have not seen it even if you check the Employment Equity Report,” said Advocate Bede. Ms Moiloa also said that the Department has also started inspections of the JSE Securities-listed companies in South Africa. For more information, contact: Teboho Thejane Departmental Spokesperson Cell: 082 697 0694 E-mail: sends e-mail) Department of Employment and Labour ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Masibongwe Sihlahla | 29 January 2023 On 16 June 1976 a watershed event took place that would change South Africa forever and impact the whole world. It was when a group of learners decided enough is enough and took to the streets to protest the imposition of Afrikaans as an official medium of instruction at African schools. The masters wanted to make formal what was already taking place in schools whereby black oppressed learners were forced to learn in the language of the master. Many thousands of km’s away Oliver Tambo immediately grasped the significance of this event and it spurred the movement on to put more diplomatic pressure on the illegitimate regime of the Apartheid government in South Africa. Today we have massive pressures due to Youth Unemployment. Our youth is even more politically conscious than the youth of 1976. Today they have Facebook, WhatsApp etc. and other social media platforms and it was rumoured that the Arab Spring was driven by social media as youth could organise country wide in real time with each other. Our Youth can see that their poverty and inequality stem directly from unemployment. Already South Africa is facing a chance to be categorised as the most unequal society in the world because of our GINI score and HDI (Human Development Index). A country with so much mineral wealth and which is the most industrialised country in Africa with the most powerful army having some of the best weaponry on the continent. With the TVET colleges training more skilled technicians expecting to be absorbed into a company needing their skills and with graduates and diplomats not being able to walk into jobs with their newly acquired qualifications we reaching the situation prior to 16 June 1976. This has been made worse due to Covid-19 but our youth are forgiving and understand Covid-19 was something which happened beyond the control of any government but what the youth cannot forgive our government for is the billions which was stolen from Eskom leading to the current stage 6 load shedding which drives our economy further into the abyss. Without economic growth there can not be job creation and thus absorption of qualified youth into the world of work. Where as with Covid-19 most jobs could resume where they left off with Load shedding jobs are being shed at the same time leading to greater frustration by those youth who were employed albeit for a short period of time. Although South Africa is the most technologically advanced country in Africa and is the gateway to Africa for many other technologies, this means nothing with load shedding currently plaguing our country due to mismanagement and lack of leadership to tackle things head on. The poor maintenance of roads and railway lines as well as the total collapse of SAA has increased costs to many companies which have lead to more unemployment and in this process many thousands of youth have lost jobs. It is a miracle and a unique phenomenon that in South Africa no animosity was felt towards the erstwhile oppressors especially by the youth of the oppressed. Youth also know that in a capitalist society 80% of wealth is enjoyed by 20% of the people yet our youth is satisfied with the situation because for them a job is not just a means of wealth creation but it is a means to have dignity. Without being employed youth sit around and do nothing constructive with their lives, with no job you cannot provide the basic needs for your family and is thus robbed of the dignity to be a provider for your family. In Africa society not being able to provide for your family is a great source of embarrassment and a sign of weakness. Although the 4th Industrial Revolution bringing with it, it’s attendant information technology making things easier for youth to obtain information especially for those in the rural areas with less access to information resources such as libraries or department of labour data bases. The information technology today has also made youth less dependent on government but information technology has not been able to free us from bad government, corruption and poor leadership. I hope the 5th Industrial Revolution will give us the tools to get rid of that. In the meanwhile in South Africa with the youth not being able to be gainfully employed we have in the rural areas youth unemployment as high as 80%. With all these youth siting around we find already police statistics show a rising tide in crime involving youth. We see greater incidences of assaults at and around taverns involving youth. We even see greater numbers of babies being born from youth fathers and at the same time a worrying rise in HIV numbers as well. The youth have been to a large degree behind the DudulaMovement and most of our xenophobic attacks has had youth behind it’s occurrence. As youth feel more and more excluded by society due to unemployment they get a sense of being seen as useless to society and naturally trying to give significance to their lives and wanting to make a contribution to their family support they turn to crime. Not addressing issues such as corruption and load shedding is impacting our country in ways which we many not be able to recover long after we have solved the load shedding crisis in this country and for this we need leadership. Good strong leadership who can lead and provide leadership in a time we need it. The inequality and poverty increases by the day for each day youth are unemployed and we may reach a point where even if our fortunes as a country change some of our youth may be lost forever, which will lead to a cost to the economy of the country when government need to deal with it in future. Right now in many rural towns there are skilled and qualified youth sitting idly on their hands all dressed up and now where to go. I trust that our State President will give the issue of Youth Unemployment over to our future new deputy state president as our current president has too many other issues to deal with. We need this focus on youth if we are not to have a repeat of 16 June 1976 when blacks were mostly high school trained , today varsity and college trained students are sitting at home doing nothing. The ball is in your court Government. Do not fail our youth. Masibongwe Sihlahla Independent Researcher and writer Founder and Chairman CONCERNED YOUNG PEOPLES FORUM OF SA ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’


    Ayanda Sakhile Zulu | 26 January 2023 The idea of race-based empowerment in light of our country’s history remains a noble one. No sane and honest person can argue that the current BEE model , which was adopted by the ANC in the early 1990s, has been anything other than a colossal failure (“Is BEE here to stay or is it facing its demise?”, January 23). It has served only to enrich an already wealthy elite. Some analysts have rightly renamed it “blatant elite enrichment”. However, the idea of race-based empowerment in light of our country’s history remains a noble one. I have observed that those who oppose race-based empowerment tend to use the failures of the current BEE model to taint it in general and drive the narrative that it is wrong. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with race-based empowerment. The problem lies in the current model that has been used to advance it. What we need to do is to scrap the current model and replace it with one that will empower millions of black people and not just a tiny elite. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’


    Schalk Burger | 26 January 2023 There were fewer registrations for Ministerial-approved programmes at technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges for the 2023 academic year, at 497 032, than there were in 2022, when there were 508 000. This is worrying, given the National Development Plan (NDP) target to ensure 2.5-million TVET registrations by 2030, Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Dr Blade Nzimande said on January 24. "Our TVET colleges planned headcount enrolment for 2023 is 497 032 for the Ministerial-approved programmes, with an additional 59 383 headcount enrolment for programmes that are funded through other funding sources, thus bringing the total planned TVET enrolment for the academic year 2023 to 556 415," he stated. Additionally, the 508 000 enrolments into Ministerial-funded programmes at TVET colleges in the 2022 academic year was itself lower than the enrolments funded by the State and TVET colleges in the 2021 academic year. Further, the total number of candidates, at 133 442, who wrote the November 2022 National Vocational Certificate Level 2 to 4 examinations, decreased by 4 909, or 3.7%, compared with the 2021 figure. "This is a matter of concern to the department, as our country needs much greater throughput from this crucial sector," he emphasised. Encouragingly, the TVET report indicated that 72.1% of the candidates who wrote the November 2022 exams were female, and 27.9% were male. "This illustrates that our work is helping to affirm the place of women in our post-school education and training sector, but we are concerned about what seems to be an ongoing decline in male participation in the programme. "This particular decline [in male participation] requires our attention, and addressing it will form part of efforts that we are launching this year," said Nzimande. "We are working hard with our plans to ensure that we accelerate the growth of our TVET sector. We will use the inadequate resources we have available and explore creative and innovative ways to accelerate the growth of the TVET sector. "However, we can proudly report that the image of TVET colleges is changing in the country and they are no longer considered second choices. Many of the TVET courses are offered only at these colleges and most of our TVET colleges are full to the brim every year," he boasted. Meanwhile, the DHET is standardising TVET registration and admission processes, which will also include standardisation of the processes of issuing of certificates. "This standardisation process will also help us to migrate from manual to online registration processes in all our TVET colleges. Significantly, this has led to growth in student numbers on several colleges that have embraced the use of technology in their enrolment processes, and has reduced the number of walk-ins at these colleges," added Nzimande. The rural Limpopo province is the leading province in terms of online registration for TVET colleges, he noted. "This is something we must build on in other provinces, as many of our youth have access to smart phones [with which to complete online registration processes]." Further, ten TVET colleges will also be introducing a new programme in robotics in the current academic year. "This is part of our curriculum transformation strategy for the TVET sector in ensuring that our colleges remain responsive to the needs of a changing economy," he highlighted. SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES The National Skills Fund (NSF) will fund 107 000 workplace-based learning opportunities in 2023, including learnerships in various sectors of the economy. This will be increased to 110 500 workplace-based learning opportunities from April 1. These opportunities will mainly be aimed at benefitting young people between the ages of 15 to 24, and the 2022 matriculants will greatly benefit from this, Nzimande said. The department's current target on skills programmes in various sectors of the economy is to have 149 000 beneficiaries. For artisanal trades, the target is 23 000 beneficiaries. The department remains on track in terms of funding artisanal development programmes, and the NSF will continue to fund them, he added. These programmes will make use of accredited skills development providers. The NSF will post new requests for proposal from qualifying skills development providers to carry out and support the placement of learners for work integrated learning, in particular targeting the not in employment, education or training group, he added. Further, the skills development funding efforts will release an estimated R3-billion from the NSF to support beneficiaries in agricultural, digital and information technology programmes and skills in small business development. These investments exclude the DHET's investment in artisan development and other support skills development programmes. "Central to the NSF skills development funding programme in the 2023/24 financial year will be the acceleration of skills development funding through massification in agricultural, digital and information technology programmes and skills in small business development and entrepreneurship, in partnership with other government departments," Nzimande said. All these skills development programmes will be coordinated through the District Development Model. Meanwhile, community colleges will introduce digital literacy programmes through a partnership with the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa for community college lecturers. "We will also be progressively introducing skills, occupational learnerships and nonformal programmes at community colleges through funding support from the NSF and sector education and training authorities," Nzimande said. The aim is to change the focus of community colleges from the formerly adult-only-focused education courses to include skills development programmes for people who left school early or who did not finish their schooling to enable them to acquire new skills or improve their capabilities in particular skills, he noted. These will be in addition to the senior matric and second-chance offerings at these colleges, provided in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, to people who failed matric or want to improve their scores in specific subjects. UNIVERSITY ENROLMENTS Enrolments at public universities for the 2023 academic year were projected at 1.1-million, which is 41 545 higher than the prior year, with 655 427 female and 412 428 male students. "This indicates that our university sector is steadily growing," said Nzimande. Importantly, 208 299 first-time enrolments were projected, of which 69 069 will be within scarce-skills areas, including 17 085 in engineering, 17 584 in life and physical sciences, 985 in animal sciences, 209 in veterinary sciences, 10 418 in human health and 22 788 in teacher education courses. "I must applaud our universities for their achievement in exceeding the targets for the veterinary science, animal sciences and teacher education areas," he noted. However, most of the courses in the scarce-skills areas require a matric mathematics pass rate of at least 60%, and some require a minimum 60% pass rate in mathematics and science. "We do not have nearly enough in every cohort of matriculants that achieve a 60% minimum pass rate in mathematics and science. "Therefore, the Department of Science and Innovation has developed collaborations with provincial departments of education to support mathematics, science and technology education, aimed at ensuring that we increase the number of learners passing Grade 12 mathematics, science and technology," he said. Additionally, to ensure the entire public sector university system is developed, the DHET is intensifying the implementation of the university capacity development programme to improve student success and the quality of teaching, learning and research to support curriculum renewal in all universities. The DHET has begun to consider the use of blended learning models as an alternative to accommodate more students. Nzimande has commissioned the Council on Higher Education to conduct a study on blended learning, which will aim to increase learning and teaching through physical and online distance means. "This mode of delivery will enable more access to higher education. This may assist with achieving the NDP goal of 1.6-million enrolments in our universities by 2030," he noted. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Department of Employment and Labour | 26 January 2023 It’s “open season” for scammers – Department of Employment and Labour warns public to be vigilant The Department of Employment and Labour has noted with concern of yet another scam titled “youth employment program” promising the unemployed heaven and earth. South Africa is currently undergoing one of its tough economic phase with unemployment at an all-time high and scammers are also taking advantage of the situation. The Department wishes to warn the public to be cautious of newly-found messiah’s who promise members of the public ‘paradise’. The Department does not have a “youth employment program”. In the latest scam the scammers are promising to reward participants in the so-called program with obscene stipends. But, before this could happen a potential participant in the program has to pay a deposit fee at one of retailers and also furnish personal details. The latest scam follows a number of rackets in which members of public are asked to pay to receive payouts. The scammers also fraudulently use the Employment and Labour Minister T.W Nxesi and the Department’s social media accounts to swindle the public. The Department of Employment and Labour has a Public Employment Services (PES) branch that assists companies and workers to adjust to changing labour market conditions. PES offers a range of FREE public employment services. These services range from registering work seekers on Employment Services of South Africa (ESSA) - an online job matching platform, employment counselling, providing subsidies/schemes to non-governmental organisations that assist in the employment of Persons with Disabilities. It is illegal in South Africa to be asked to pay for a job. Desist from paying so-called fully REFUNDABLE FEE(S) when looking for employment. Under any circumstances if unsure what action to take go to any of the Department’s more than 125 offices or labour centres and mobile service points that are spread throughout the country for more information.3 Be alert and protect yourself. Do not part away with your hard earned cash and personal details. Do not pay for a job offer!!! Enquiries: Teboho Thejane Cell: 082 697 0694 E-mail: ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Ntuthuko Mlondo | 30 January 2023 KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, spoke to the community at a Livestock Indaba at Owen Sithole College of Agriculture, King Cetshwayo District, in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Supplied Durban — The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Agriculture and Rural Development hosted the provincial Livestock Indaba Roadshow at the Owen Sithole College of Agriculture, King Cetshwayo District, on Tuesday. The road show was an attempt to continue the positive trend in South Africa’s agricultural sector, which is key to the national gross domestic department. Theme for the Indaba was “Developing Rural Economics Through Livestock.” KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi said agriculture had the ability to restore dignity to the people and alleviate poverty. Sithole-Moloi estimated that over 2.8 million cattle are owned by farmers in the province and the average selling price is R10 000. She said it is important to keep livestock in good condition as that equates to billions of rand for the economy. “The department has accelerated the implementation of food security programmes aimed at poverty-stricken and vulnerable households that face food insecurity. The department is turning around the sector through the implementation of a provincial livestock strategy, which forms an integral part of the KZN provincial growth strategy,” said Sithole-Moloi. The strategy consists of seven pillars that aim to address socio-economic issues in the sector. These pillars are: comprehensive veterinary technical support; animal identification and anti-theft measures; breeding and selection; marketing and value adding; livestock infrastructure development and agro logistics; veld management and nutrition; and applied/adaptive research. “Our aim with these pillars is to bring about a revolution leading to real transformation in the sector and be able to address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality that affect mainly youth, women and disabled people,” said Sithole-Moloi. The department will also be working closely with amakhosi to ensure people in rural areas get the assistance they need, Sithole-Moloi said. “We want our communities to continue planting and end poverty once and for all. We know agriculture is a fundamental source of national prosperity. Let us use agriculture to better the lives of our people in KZN,” said Sithole-Moloi. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


    Media Update | 25 January 2023 Khulisa Social Solutions, a non-profit organisation (NPO), has announced that it won the Corporate LiveWire Youth Support NPO of the Year Award for 2022 / 2023. The NPO has over 25 years of empowering underprivileged South Africans to unlock their potential. Lesley Ann van Selm, managing director of Khulisa, says, "This recognition demonstrates the impact that Khulisa has had on South Africans since its inception and is a tremendous icebreaker for the amazing work that we are excited to continue in 2023." Last year, Khulisa was selected as a finalist under the International Peace Awards category for the best work in addressing: poverty and homelessness peace-making interventions, and youth empowerment interventions in marginalised communities. Khulisa's flagship projects include: The Sustainable Livelihood Programmes focused on communities in North West and Limpopo provinces. Khulisa launched this programme to implement self-sufficing systems to improve these communities' overall quality of life. The launch of Resilient Youth in Stressed Environments song to better communicate findings of the five-year global research that investigated youth resilience in communities involved in oil and gas production and communities impacted by climate change in South Africa, with a particular focus on Secunda and eMbalenhle in Mpumalanga. The application of the ecological model of violence to understand gender-based violence, this research was undertaken through a partnership with the seasoned research psychologist Sheri Errington, a research associate at the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Social Development The Alexandra Youth Entrepreneurial Summit. This summit was made possible by a partnership with the Greater Alexandra Chamber of Commerce, Qalisa Hub, 243 Pro-network, Ubuntu Business and TuksNovation The criminal expungement clinics will continue later in 2023 following the overwhelming response received in November 2022 The Alexandra Peace-Making Project, which was a direct response to civil unrest, including the looting and violence that took place in 2020, has resulted in 35 community peacemakers trained to deal with conflicts in the township, and The notable Streetscapes Project. This project has been offering long-term community-based rehabilitation that uniquely combines housing, work-based rehabilitation, and the necessary psychosocial support in the Western Cape for over seven years. Khulisa contended with 30 000 other nominees who were submitted from over 30 countries across the globe. Furthermore, a judging panel comprised of entrepreneurs, legal professionals and consultants carefully appraised and selected the winners across various award categories. "We would like to dedicate this award and our other recent recognitions to our stakeholders, including other not-for-profit organisations, community members, funders, and partners," says van Selm. For more information, visit You can also follow Khulisa Social Solutions on Facebook or on Twitter. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’


    Kailene Pillay | 25 January 2023 The newly appointed Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Pamela Dube. Picture: SUPPLIED The Central University of Technology (CUT) in the Free State has officially welcomed the newly appointed vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Pamela Dube. Council chairperson Matthew Rantso said the university being without a VC for more than a year and a half had been an “arduous journey”. He said that the council prioritised making a female appointment. “Our institutional values of equity and excellence inspired us to make this call. Without a doubt, we found her (Dube) to be the most suitable leader who will take the university forward. With her appointment, we, as a collective, believe that CUT is in good hands. The university is in a better position than it has been then and now. “This is all because of our rigorous recruitment efforts. Rest assured; the new VC has the support of our council, all statutory bodies within the university, and the university community. She will carry on where we have been doing well to drive our academic projects and Vision 2030 to become a leading university of technology in Africa through innovation.” He commended Professor Alfred Ngowi for serving CUT as acting vice-chancellor during that period. “We have witnessed remarkable strides towards the operational efficiency of this university despite the challenges we have experienced. We have seen progress in filling the key positions, especially in the registrar’s division, with a shrewd eye on employment equity and representation,” said Rantso. He added that Dube comes with vast experience, bringing credentials into this portfolio that would help her lead the university towards and beyond the CUT Vision 2030, using her knowledge and experience in the higher education sector. Before joining the CUT, Dube served as a deputy vice-chancellor: Student Development and Support at UWC. She is an accomplished leader in academia, having completed her MA and PhD studies in comparative Literature and Media at the University of Siegen in Germany, supported by the German Exchange Programme, DAAD. Dube is also a graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). She lived and worked in Germany at the University of Siegen after completing her doctoral degree. Her career includes higher education and research management, comparative media/communication and literature, human resources development, institutional advancement, student affairs and international relations. She has worked as a senior employee of the National Department of Education, as an academic at the universities of Siegen, Kathmandu University in Nepal, UKZN in Pietermaritzburg, and Wits in Johannesburg, where she was a dean of students. She served as a special adviser to the vice-chancellor at the University of Johannesburg, where she also took on the leadership of the Human Resources Division. She is a past employee of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, where she established an International Relations office and managed the Learning and People Development Unit. Since her appointment began, Dube has been engaging with relevant stakeholders, getting to know the CUT community better. “Today I look at my coming here at CUT as a beginning of a new dawn, a new journey. And as we begin this journey jointly as a collective, I want to thank the chair of the Council, councillor Matthew Rantso, the members of the council and the university stakeholders for your confidence and trust in me to drive the university Vision to 2030 and for the privilege of becoming the first woman vice-chancellor and principal of CUT,” saidDube ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.

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