Tshepo 1 Million - transforming lives one youth at a time- 17 December 2021

Office of the Premier 2021/12/16 - 22:00

Thembisa Shologu

Attending a school not equipped with a functional science laboratory to undertake practical tasks, assessments and experiments in sciences, almost made Segametsi Songwane's dream of wearing a lab coat seem impossible. 

Segametsi (34) a proud village girl from a semi-rural Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, against all odds, finished matric and pursued her dream by registering for a Diploma in Chemical Engineering with the University of South Africa (Unisa) 

Her studies landed her a short learnership at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). After the learnership ended, Segametsi became unemployed for 2 years.

Determined to be her own liberator, she started a business named Gideon Yarn-Antimicrobial using all the skills she gained from her previous employment. 

Segametsi's company has been in great demand since day one, supplying PPEs, disposal masks and gloves, room disinfectants, hand sanitisers, hand soaps and moisturisers.

She also participated in the Tshepo One Million (T1M) #BossoKeMang Elevator Pitch in partnership with the National Youth Development Agency. 

The Tshepo 1 Million is Gauteng province's flagship youth empowerment initiative designed to help young people to enter the labour market and access skills and entrepreneurial development.

The Tshepo initiative, which was launched in 2014 under the name Tshepo 500 000, was redeveloped and unveiled as Tshepo One million in 2017 by Premier David Makhura.

Since 2019, the programme, through its partnerships in the various sectors, has reached an average of 63% of beneficiaries. 

"Start where you are with what you have. Nothing is impossible until it is done. Start now, hang around people who are smarter than you, more skilled than you. It might take time, but it shall come to pass," said Segametsi. 

Another recipient whose life was changed by T1M is Siphesihle Buthelezi from Pimville Soweto who moved from KwaZulu-Natal in 2016 in search for better job opportunities to support his family.

After hitting closed doors for two years, Siphesihle registered with T1M and got a her first learnership opportunity with First National Bank.

With more financial freedom provided by the monthly stipend he received, Siphesihle became more confident, driven, organized and positive. 

"My life is headed in the right direction. To the youth seeking opportunities; persevere, keep searching as their time will come and once that time comes, work hard and turn those opportunities into your success stories," said Siphesihle.

Since 2020, one of the main challenges faced by T1M was the need to shift from supporting youth face-to-face to doing it virtually and on the phone support, due to COVID-19 regulations. 

Despite this, the programme is forging ahead and has set a target to reach a further 1 million impacted young people by 2024. 

The T1M programme is also aligned with the Youth Employment Service (YES) Initiative launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The YES initiative aims to see more than one million young South Africans being offered paid work experience over the next three years, as part of placing the needs of and opportunities for young people at the centre of inclusive economic growth.

Thus far, a total of 19 771 work opportunities were created in Gauteng under this banner against a target of 36 457.

In drawing more young people into the economy, the provincial government has initiated various other youth development and empowerment initiatives.

As at 30 September 2021, 9376 youth brigades were employed by the Gauteng Department of Education and the Gauteng City-Region Academy. 

Skills development programmes, CoachLab and Code Tribe have trained 286 youth which resulted in 114 youth finding employment. 

A total of 3 339 unemployed youth (1217 female youth and 2122 male youth) were trained in automotive skills at the Gauteng Automotive Learning Centre (GALC). 

The GPG departments created a total of 93 314 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) work opportunities against a target of 133895. To date, 69.7% of the target has been achieved, of which 41% were in the infrastructure sector.

These efforts by Gauteng Provincial Government are ensuring that young people are given access to opportunities so they can better themselves and drive change in their communities and contribute meaningfully to the economy.


Tags: Tshepo 1 million Youth Employment Service gpg


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