By Makhosazana Mavuso

  • Twenty rural youth in Mgobodzi, Mpumalanga, graduated in basic computer skills, a partnership between Dr. Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu and the MTN SA Foundation.
  • The initiative aims to empower youth economically and reduce dependence on traditional employment.
  • Through integrated sustainable development, the Department seeks to foster economic independence and rebuild communities.

Mbombela, 17 February 2024: In the serene rural village of Mgobodzi, Mpumalanga, twenty young individuals received a transformative opportunity as they graduated from accredited modules in basic personal computer skills, awarded at NQF level 3. Under the leadership of Inkhosi Khulile Mkhatshwa, this initiative, facilitated by the enduring partnership between Dr. Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, Deputy Minister of Social Development, and the MTN SA Foundation, heralds a new dawn for youth empowerment in the region.

Nestled within the Mawewe Traditional Council, Mgobodzi village resides in the eastern Nkomazi Region of Mpumalanga Province, epitomising rural life in South Africa.

Mr. Arthur Makhuvha, the General Manager at MTN SA Foundation, expressed, “We are driven by the belief that access to information and communication is crucial to economic development. As MTN SA Foundation, we aim to create meaningful, measurable change in disadvantaged and rural communities.” Emphasising a shift towards entrepreneurial skills, Mr. Makhuvha added, “We are trying to move away from young people’s dependence on being employed.”

Reflecting on the initiative, Dr. Bogopane-Zulu affirmed, “As a department, we recognise the importance of empowering young people by ensuring access to skills development and fostering economic independence.” Encouraging graduates to leverage their newfound skills, she urged them to initiate cooperatives contributing to economic growth and self-sufficiency. “We would ultimately like to see you exit the social grant system as you become more economically independent,” Dr. Bogopane-Zulu emphasised.

Mr. Mfundo Shongwe, 22, expressed gratitude, stating, “We would like to thank the deputy minister of social development and MTN SA Foundation for remembering our village. We have learned a lot during our training.” Encouraging peers to pursue further studies, he reminded them that “the sky’s the limit.”

Fisokuhle Mlomo, 25, shared his journey, remarking, “I completed my matric in 2020 and have struggled to get employment. Knowing how to use a computer is always a requirement. These skills I have acquired will definitely give me a fair chance when applying for a job.”

Through integrated sustainable development, the Department aims to reduce poverty by rebuilding families and communities, empowering the youth, elderly, and disabled people alike, fostering a brighter future for all.

Photo by Evans Molimi


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