Regent Business School develops a practical and innovative solution for job seekers
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Regent Business Schools’s iLeadLab facility has developed a practical and innovative solution for job seekers.
In a statement, a group of public-spirited researchers said that innovation has the power to free South Africans from the shackles of unemployment and bridge the digital divide.
“The MAHALABox is our way to contribute,” the institution said.
“Mahala” means “free” in isiZulu. The MAHALABox lives up to its name; it provides free access to online resources such as recruitment agencies, job placements, and skills development tools like aptitude tests, CV templates, and downloadable books and videos.
According to the the last Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) published by Statistics South Africa in August showed that the country’s unemployment rate had risen to 34.4%, the highest since the start of the QLFS began in 2008.
With record unemployment levels and high data costs creating a barrier to entry for many job seekers, South Africans need new ways to bring opportunities to the people and to connect people with potential employers.
Regent Business School’s operations director, Dr Ridwaan Asvat said: “The MAHALABox is our way of bringing important skills and resources to students, the unemployed, and the youth in local communities. We hope that, by providing such a solution, we can bring better opportunities to people who need them.”
Sizwe Madikizela, one of the lead designers of the MAHALABox, said it uses sustainable solar energy.
“By making use of a solar panel and a rechargeable battery, the box can be powered indefinitely, the MAHALABox is produced at a relatively low cost, sustainable to use, and extremely portable, making it a cost effective, feasible and scalable solution,” said Madikizela..
Each MAHALABox contains a small computer that generates its own wi-fi signal and anyone with a smartphone can connect to it and interact with the network without data.
Employers, recruitment agencies, corporate entities, government departments, and tertiary education institutions can create content that is housed on the MAHALABox network.
With nearly 60 million smartphones in use in South Africa every day, it’s a practical and accessible way to connect people with information.
The MAHALABox can be adapted to specific locations such as community centres, gyms, municipal gatherings, sports events, transport systems, educational centres, and so on... and can become an access point for communities, or even a storytelling device.