“We would like to thank NEMISA, DUT and other stakeholders for giving us such a great opportunity to shine.”

These were the sentiments of Siphelele Sithole, a beneficiary of NEMISA Ya Rona Digital Skills programme which was officially launched on 23 January 2020 at Bulwer Community Hall in Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality, KZN. As part of digital upskilling, 30 individuals were selected for digital training and 6 individuals we also selected as supervisors from the Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality. Subsequent to the training the individuals will be ambassadors for NEMISA)and will be readily available to assist the community with ICT and digital skilling. Speaking during the event, which was also attended by NEMISA Acting CEO, Treveen Rabindhnath and Board member Prof. Addendorff – Sithole said that the programme presented a great opportunity for them as supervisors to upskill themselves while training members of the community.

“We are grateful by your presence here. We expect to work with communities at every level and our aim is to create digital capacitated communities. We aim to work at our level best to make this project a success and help as many people as possible. We hope to have a long relationship with you for future endeavours,” a visible excited Sithole said. NEMISA aims to launch a national programme for scaling up its efforts in a manner that is complementary to existing programmes offered through the NEMISA and its CoLabs across South Africa. The training is scheduled to start mid- February in NDZ Municipality and will run for 6 months. However, NEMISA’s intention is to roll out a similar programmes in all nine provinces of South Africa. The training entails Digital Skills development with curriculum topics including; Generic digital citizenship platforms: Web 2.0 yes, Email accounts, Social media, Digital banking, e-Government. Cybersecurity: Online search engines, Informal online educational platforms, Formal online learning platforms. Leadership Skills: Leadership, Report Writing, People Skills. SMME Support: Start Your Business, Promoting Local Business, Social Economic Awareness. ICT skills for employment: Linkedin, MS Office, Online career mentoring platforms, Online job search engines. NEMISA Project Manager Mathe Mathealira said that the KZN launch served as part of an awareness campaign about NEMISA, its efforts and commitment on training of digital technology related courses to communities.

“The chosen candidates who will be ambassadors of the programme were also present and they are very excited about the training. The presentation done by all the above stakeholders enlightened the attendants – about the realities and abilities of new digital technologies as well as what the 4IR represents. The NDZ municipality also supports the programme as this will bring change to their rural community, by creating employment and empowering community members through knowledge of digital skills,” she said.

SIDE BAR: The Ya Rona scaling-up programme is a NEMISA-led multi-stakeholder collaboration aimed at the recruitment, training, empowering, dispatching, supporting and monitoring of digital change makers in their respective communities. This programme is designed to complement the formal education system. The targeted beneficiaries will be from socio-economically excluded societies. The programme is being positioned to reach all nine provinces in South Africa in a staggered approach.

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