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By Citizen Reporter


Soweto’s Maponya Mall Community Hub to officially open this month

The initiative started in early 2019 but work on the project was halted during Covid-19.

This month marks the official opening of the Maponya Mall Community Hub – which is expected to be a cutting-edge facility to provide access to a range of capacity-building initiatives, skills programmes, valuable information, and powerful partnerships to the community of Soweto.

The hub is said to be part of an ongoing asset-based community development programme by Redefine Properties, the Dr Richard Maponya Institute, FNB Philanthropy and the Afrika Tikkun Foundation.

The initiative started in early 2019 but work on the project was halted during Covid-19.

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A centre for youth, NPOs and SMMEs

Chief Sustainability Officer at Redefine Properties, Anelisa Keke, explained that the project aims to improve and positively impact non-profit organisations (NPOs), SMMEs and the youth operating within Soweto.

“The youth development programmes are aimed at ensuring the youth have sufficient resources to lead productive and fulfilling lives, while NPO development will ensure that NPOs and community-based organisations (CBOs) have the skills and ability to provide the much-needed services in the community.

“SMME or Entrepreneurs development will take place through incubation, acceleration and supply chain development programmes to ensure that entrepreneurs have the support and skills to develop their businesses further themselves,” Keke said.

“With South Africa facing unprecedented challenges of stagnating growth, inflation and joblessness – even as the recovery from Covid-19 begins – our new state-of-the-art facility and related programmes offer new avenues for renewal and hope,” she added.

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Youth development programme

A Youth Development Programme will also be established to provide an avenue for out-of-school youth to enhance their personal and technical skills.

Keke explained that it will run over a four-month period, focussing on guiding youth to develop a keen sense of self, community, goals and skills.

“The overall purpose of the programme is to assist youth with a holistic development programme that facilitates growth and maturity in personal decision-making and provides an individual with the tools to implement their decisions going forward,” Keke explained.

Two additional youth skills development programmes will focus on the retail sector (Retail Academy) and ICT sector (ICT and Software Development) to ensure candidates have the specific skills needed to enter the employment market.

“With immense jobless hurdles to overcome in SA, these programmes are aimed at increasing the employability of our young generation and ensuring they can gain access to the full benefits of the modern digital workplace,” she said.

Meanwhile, the SMME engagement aims to provide the people of Soweto with the necessary resources and support to initiate and expand their businesses.

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