Barn Khayelitsha trains close to 1000 residents; boosts local tech start-ups
Over 900 people in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain have completed training courses at the Barn Khayelitsha.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, on Thursday (6 July) visited the Barn Khayelitsha as part of his month-long programme focusing on practical examples of innovation in action.
The Barn forms part of the broader Western Cape Broadband Initiative, which aims to support businesses and citizens with digital adoption, and its 10-year broadband roll-out programme, a R3 billion government investment into broadband infrastructure. The Barn is managed by the Cape IT Initiative (CiTi), and supported by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
The focus of the Barn is to develop and grow businesses through tech enablement, and the development of tech skills such as teaching young people to code.
In the 2016/17 financial year, 976 people completed training courses at the Barn Khayelitsha. These courses included the use of mobile technologies to improve business processes, business fundamentals, coding and basic computer skills development. There was also a specific focus on Women in Business in the areas of business and technology skills. By the end of 2016/17 the Barn had provided support and incubation services to 71 registered tenants.
A further 1380 residents attended a range of events during the same period.
Yesterday, entrepreneurs shared their experiences of working at the Barn.
Entrepreneurs Buntu Matole and Ayanda Cuba are the founders of About Brands Communities and Designs Concepts (ABCD), and described how the Barn provided a valuable space to network with other entrepreneurs, and bounce ideas off one other.
ABCD focuses on understanding how communities and brands interact, and Matole and Cuba also teach sports to children in Khayelitsha. In expanding their business, the entrepreneurs offer an Airbnb Experience, taking people through Khayelitsha while jogging.
Siyavuya Mlungu is the owner of the Siyavuya Mlungu Group, a life coaching and mentorship enterprise.
Mlungu said it was important to guide aspirational entrepreneurs.
“People give up on their dreams easily because they lack mentorship. We promote the spirit of entrepreneurship.” Mlungu is set to open his second branch in Queenstown shortly.
Vuyolwethu Rubusana, the founder of the Tree Tech Academy, said there was a lack of technology skills in previously disadvantaged communities, and this drove him to start his business which teaches computer skills. His company has trained over 100 people in the past two years. As a result of the connections he made at the Barn, Rubusana has attended international entrepreneurship conferences.
Minister Winde commended the entrepreneurs.
“The entrepreneurs at the Barn are responding to the challenges they are seeing in their own communities. I want to see the Barn becoming a profit centre, and I am encouraged that we are on the right track. Many of the entrepreneurs are also working on businesses in our Project Khulisa sectors, specifically in tourism and agri-processing.
“We selected expanding internet access as a key priority because we know that technology connects people to markets, and opportunities. The entrepreneurs at the Barn are excellent examples of this.”
On Tuesday, Minister Winde visited the ICAN (Interactive Community Access Network) centre in Elsies River, an initiative of the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT). DEDAT has invested R10 million into the centre since its launch in 2014. The centre has recorded 18 000 visits since inception.
The ICAN offering includes access to the City’s Smart Cape free internet service (45 min/day) per registered ICAN member and limited free WiFi (300MB/month) from Sonic Wireless, an internet service provider which sponsors the broadband connectivity at the centre. Free and paid-for courses and conferencing facilities are also available.
Minister Winde’s programme for the rest of July includes:
- Elsenburg drone demonstration
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture is playing a leading role in innovation in the sector. Minister Winde will attend a demonstration of the drone technology currently being piloted on the farm.
Date: Thursday, 19 July
Venue: Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Muldersvlei Road, Elsenburg
- Absa Aliens
Absa Aliens, Absa’s development centre, is a training ground for talented young software developers.
Date: Monday, 24 July 2017
Venue: Absa, Block B, Ground Floor, Longkloof Studios, Darters Road, Gardens
For media queries, kindly contact:
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301