The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services Deputy Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, says South African youth must benefit from corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives.
“The country can benefit if we pull all our resources together to create economic and developmental opportunities for the youth in underserved communities. We need to derive greater impact from the money that is spent on these programs,” Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said on Tuesday.
The Deputy Minister met with Information and Communication Technologies State-Owned Entities in an effort to align the sector’s CSI initiatives to achieve the maximum impact for youth development.
Some of the entities that had representatives at the meeting include Telkom, Sentech, Broadband Infraco, SA Post Office, State Information Technology Agency (SITA), Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA), as well as the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).
Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said the CSI programmes should be aligned in a manner that can open opportunities for small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) that can create jobs.
The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services views CSI as one of the levers that can be used to prepare the country to meaningfully participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This can be achieved through providing digital and ICT skills to as many people as possible.
“We need to rollout CSI programmes in a way that shapes the career choices of our youth, especially young girls.
“An investment in young and fresh minds will help us because youth tend to be innovative and can solve some of our unique problems as a country and a continent,” Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said.
She said the next step will be to engage the entire industry to jointly plan interventions through CSI programmes.
“We need to come up with a plan of how the sector is contributing towards achieving the goals of the National Development Plan,” she said.