Portal, call centre for SA youth


15 June 2004

The Umsobomvu Youth Fund has launched an Internet portal and nationwide call centre to provide a range of information and services to young South Africans.



  • Youthconnect number: 08600 YOUTH (96884)

The UYF was established by the government in 2001 to reduce unemployment through skills development and entrepreneurship programmes for young people.

The call centre, youthconnect, and youth portal aim to provide a range of information and services relating to career development, employment and entrepreneurship to approximately one million young people over the next three years.

The youth portal will also enable users to access information and services relating to citizenship, health and well being.

UYF chief executive Malusi Kekana said youthconnect and the youth portal will draw on a comprehensive database covering skills providers, entrepreneurship programmes, potential employers, career guidance and health issues.

Web surfers will be able to get advice on topics ranging from developing a business plan to learning basic computer skills and writing a CV.

“One of the challenges facing unemployed young people is access to information that refers them to services where they can obtain assistance or enables them to make meaningful decisions about their lives”, the UYF said in a statement.

Youthconnect and the portal are attempts to address these challenges.

Young people will be able to get access to computers and the Internet through the UYF’s youth advisory centres – walk-in centres that provide information, support, training and referral services to young people, as well as outreach services to communities that are unable to access the centres.

The UYF recently entered into a partnership with Government Communications to launch youth advisory centres at multi-purpose community centres countrywide. The centres will also be skilled with additional partners from local government, community structures and other youth development organisations

‘A rising dawn’
The Umsobomvu Youth Fund – umsobomvu is an Nguni word that means “a rising dawn” – aims to help young South Africans become contributors to, as well as beneficiaries of, a democratic society.

It seeks to do this by promoting what it calls the “economic citizenship” of young people, via three main programmes:

  • Its contact information and counselling programme gives young people access to information and counselling support.
  • Its skills development programme equips young people with skills for sustainable livelihoods, offering job opportunities for trainees exiting the programme.
  • Its youth entrepreneurship programme helps young people access sustainable business opportunities through funding and business development services.

The UYF has committed approximately R500-million to 90 projects over the past 36 months.

SouthAfrica.info reporter