The Importance of Companies Giving Back This Mandela Month

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.

–  Nelson Mandela

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his State Of The Nation Address earlier this year, said, “COVID-19 has exacerbated the divide between those who are employed and those who are unemployed. Last year our unemployment rate reached its highest recorded level.”

His address emphasized the significant role the private sector must play in pulling the country out of its growth slump.

The tech space, which has for years now been accused of eliminating jobs, as the fourth industrial revolution takes over the world, is in dire need of tech-savvy individuals who can code.

So, with South Africa reportedly churning out less than 3000 computer science graduates each year – according to the Council of Higher Education, what can be done to solve the tech skills gap?

We strongly believe that one way to combat this is for corporate companies to create sustainable bursary and graduate programs that ensure longevity by opening up employment pipelines through work experience and absorbing graduates into the workspace.

Recently, we as BET Software contributed to bridging the skills development and unemployment gaps by celebrating 56 young achievers who are this year’s bursary recipients. Our bursary program, which is now in its second year, encourages eligible students – who are passionate about ICT – to dare to dream.

There are many long-term socio-economic benefits that South Africa reaps when private companies give back, specifically; creating a nation that is empowered through solid employment opportunities, boosting the country’s economy, a leveling of the playing fields, and correcting the wrongs of the past.

This Mandela month, let’s leave behind a tangible social justice footprint and an indelible legacy.

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