Pretoria — Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the Tshepo 500 000 programme will now be known as Tshepo One Million, as the provincial government has doubled its target set for 2019.
The Premier said this on Wednesday when he addressed a morning meeting on youth empowerment partnerships in Sandton, where more than 20 companies committed to work with the provincial to give hope to unemployed young people in the province.
Some of the major international and local companies that have committed to work with the provincial government are Microsoft SA, Coca-Cola, Hollard, Gijima, Shanduka Black Umbrellas and COFESA.
The partnership forms part of the efforts between government and the private sector to help create opportunities for youth in the province through the recently renamed Tshepo One Million initiative.
In 2014, the provincial government launched the Tshepo initiative with the intention to empower about 500 000 young people through skills training, job placement and entrepreneurship development.
However, due to the success of the programme so far and the enthusiastic support from the private sector, the target has now been increased to one million.
Premier Makhura encouraged the private sector to work with government to create opportunities for young people and give them hope.
"Youth unemployment is the most acute and primary economic problem of our time. In Gauteng, we currently have about 2.7 million young people of working age, who are not in education and employment.
"Two years after we launched Tshepo 500 000, we reached 354 633 young people. That is when we decided to increase our target to empower one million young people by 2019," said the Premier.
He said Tshepo One Million is aimed at providing opportunities to youth, especially those in townships who are confronted by lack of skills and limited opportunities.
"This is part of radical economic transformation and we can only achieve it through partnerships with the private sector," he said.
Microsoft SA's Siya Madyibi said the company would provide one million young people with training opportunities in digital skills. This partnership commits to a mass-scale deployment of the Microsoft Digital Literacy and Virtual Academy Platform.
The training will be run through the Tshepo One Million learning lab network attached to local libraries, based on the Massive Open Online Varsity system piloted by the City of Johannesburg.
"At least one million young residents of Gauteng will be trained in basic proficiency as users of the most current versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel. This training will increase young jobseekers' chances of employability," said Madyibi.
Coca-Cola Public Affairs and Communication Director, Tshidi Ramogase, said her company commits to explore a micro-franchise programme, executing last-mile delivery and logistics for designated areas within Gauteng, operating as part of the Coca-Cola value chain.
She said Coca-Cola also commits to explore other training, employment and supplier development opportunities across the Coke value chain, which can empower young jobseekers as part of the Tshepo One Million programme.
Meanwhile, the Gauteng government will work with Shanduka Black Umbrellas and SekelaXabiso Auditors as lead implementing project partners within the evolution and rollout of the Township Marketplace Platform and wider Tshepo One Million programme.
On 15 June, the provincial government and its 20 partners will sign the partnership agreement and launch the Tshepo One Million Programme.