For immediate release
10 March 15
City’s strategies to create youth employment through innovation

IN AN effort to fast-track government plans of eradicating youth unemployment and promoting the culture of innovation, the eThekwini Municipality invites all interested youth to register for the Innovation Programme Challenges set to take place between April and May.

Themed “Smarter eThekwini”, the eThekwini’s second annual Innovation programme, will host the Hackathon Challenge which is aimed at promoting innovation and creativity using technology and will be taking place for the first time in a South African City.

Chief Whip of eThekwini Stanley Xulu said the efforts were proof that eThekwini is serious about reducing the high numbers of unemployed youth.

He said the Innovation Programme will kick off with the Hackathon challenge from 20-23 April, which is run in partnership with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), a global business and technology leader. There will be a selection of the top 100 youth who applied to address current challenges faced by the City applying mobile, big data and analytics technologies to develop mobile applications that will address the challenges of eThekwini.

Xulu revealed that the following stage of the Innovation Programme is enterPRIZE Job Creation Challenge where interested participants that have completed the Hackathon will be invited to partake in the challenge. A one-day course to take place on 28 April would be offered to support the process before participants present their business ideas on 12 May.

“The Innovation programme will also incorporate the Youth Innovation Summit between 13-14 May which will be open to all participants and the awards ceremony will be held on May 14 where two best business ideas on both challenges will each receive R75 000, two second bests will each win R30 000 and two third prizes will be rewarded with R15 000,” added Xulu.

The competition is open to South African citizens between the ages of 18-35. It’s aimed at unemployed school leavers, unemployed youth from universities and universities of technology, youth from technology start-ups and technology incubators. Preference will be given to residents of KwaZulu-Natal, particularly eThekwini residents.

Applications for the Hackathon opened on March 5 and the deadline is 10 April, while applications for the enterPRIZE Challenge will start on 23 April and close on 8 May. Apply online at www.innovate.durban.gov.za

ENDS

Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information contact Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820 or 082 731 7456 or email: thabo1.mofokeng@durban.gov.za or Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za