Johannesburg - Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel
launched a business hub and skills programme for unemployed accounting
graduates in Kyalami, north of Johannesburg, on Wednesday.
He said the initiative would go a long way to addressing the
shortage of accountants in the SA economy.
"(This) brings together a range of stakeholders who
will contribute to increasing skills, creating jobs and supporting small
Through a partnership with the SA Institute of Chartered
Accountants (Saica), the initiative would provide training to unemployed
accounting graduates, to enhance their practical skills and workplace
A total of R6m had been set aside by the department of
economic development for the first year, in which 50 graduates would be
The second group of graduates would start at the beginning
The first intake would all hold B Com Accounting or
They would be trained by Guarantee Trust in life skills and
technical skills, with simulated real work in real companies.
Saica would set up a business hub offering back-office
support to black entrepreneurs with an annual turnover of about R10m.
Graduates from the programme would work at the hub,
providing accounting support to the businesses.
This would also be done through a partnership with the new
Small Enterprise Finance Agency.
Fifteen of the graduates from the programme would be placed
at the hub and the rest in various companies across the country.
Patel said the business hub and skills programme would help
the government's efforts to create five million jobs by 2020, as set out in the
New Growth Path.
"As we celebrate Mandela Day today, we must recognise
that it is this kind of public interest role that we need more organisations to
play, as it contributes towards the kind of society that we are striving
for," he said.
Saica CEO Matsobane Matlwa said training would bridge the
gap between educational qualifications and what the industry needed.
"We are committed to collaborating with government in
ensuring that all South Africans can have an opportunity to really participate
and increase the economy of the country, by ensuring that they have a decent
living," he said.
Matlwa said Saica's strategic partner Softline Pastel would
fund the set-up costs of the business hub and provide accounting software.