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Eskom Development Foundation celebrates excellence

The Eskom Development Foundation, in partnership with the Education With Enterprise Trust (EWET), celebrated excellent youth entrepreneurship education through a prize-giving ceremony on Friday.

The ceremony was hosted on Friday at Bankhara Bodulong High School in Kuruman, Northern Cape. The ceremony was aimed at celebrating the province’s best performing schools in the 2017 Simama Ranta School Entrepreneurship Education Competition.

Eskom Development Foundation: winners

Bankhara High School was named as the Northern Cape provincial winner of the competition, receiving a prize of R50,000 ($4,180).

The utility explained that the annual competition identifies and celebrates South African schools that are exemplars in entrepreneurship education. The competition encourages young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career.

Simama Ranta rewards the top three schools in each province as well as the overall winner of the competition from 28 national finalists.

To qualify for the competition, intermediate and secondary schools must run enterprise clubs that teach their learners the basics of starting and running successful businesses through practical application while responding to their respective communities’ socio-economic challenges. Read more…

YES Club member at Bankhara High School, Yvonne Klass called on young entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity provided by the Simama Ranta competition.

Klass explained: “Last year our society wanted to make something unique and make a difference to our community. So we chose to make firelighters which can be used for cooking in our community.

“My advice to other learners is to grab the opportunity with both hands. Make sure you become a job creator now and not a job seeker. We do not need magic to change the world. You have the power inside you to do this.”

The prize-giving event was held to recognise the province’s young people and their contribution to socio-economic development and to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship amongst in-school youth.

There were other schools at the ceremony which also run their own enterprise clubs and they included Boresetse High School and Barkley West High School. With millions of young South Africans being unemployed, the Eskom Development Foundation and EWET run this programme to empower the youth to actively participate in the economy.

Driving youth to become job creators

YES Advisor at Bankhara Bodulong, Mrs Burrows, recounted the successes of the Club, saying what really impressed YES Advisors at the beginning of their journey was the aim of helping youth to become job creators and not job seekers.

“Over the years, learners have come up with excellent plans for what they want to do. In the beginning, one of the learners suggested we sell wood. The intention was to sell bags of wood to villages – but the Club suffered a setback when the community didn’t want to pay for the wood, even when the price was lowered.

“The learners then came up with the idea of using sawdust to create firelighters and this led to us winning the provincial award. With our prize money, the Club bought a popcorn machine and camera. They also collect old pairs of jeans and make items such as aprons. Through this process, our learners have truly become job creators and not job seekers,” said Burrows.

Eskom senior manager of maintenance and operations in the Northern Cape, Molefi Rantsonyane, encouraged the learners to create their own opportunities by sticking to and growing their enterprise clubs.

“Your clubs are a solid foundation from where you can grow and learn the basics of running successful businesses and you should see those clubs as your training for the future. You are ambassadors for self-employment in your communities and in your schools and you should try to inspire others through your work,” said Rantsonyane.


Featured image: Stock

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.