WATCH: Accenture is tapping into South Africa’s youth talent pool

Published Jul 18, 2022


The talent and potential of youth in South Africa remain mostly untapped. With the proliferation of cloud-based technology applications, business needs to step up and harness this potential to facilitate real economic recovery. Accenture is at the forefront of this strategic trajectory.

Accenture believes in the youth

With a strong focus on funding and mentoring SMMEs and young entrepreneurs, Accenture is paving the way for their success.

Collaborating with grassroots organisations, strategic partners and enterprise development specialists, the company is strategically investing in the type of digital skills development that leads to actual jobs, and that empowers and enables individuals and small businesses to thrive.

These include the Langa-based NGO Quirky30 that teaches coding to township youth, the women-led enterprises scaling innovative tech solutions, and the trailblazing Skills to Succeed Academy that helps learners build skills and confidence to find and succeed in employment.

These initiatives are just a fraction of the combined, global-reaching efforts of Accenture, where it touches the lives of countless people across the planet. Through technology and human ingenuity, the company is a force for change. In the words of Accenture in Africa CEO, Vukani Mngxati: “We are a country that has the potential to thrive and I see that potential. It just needs to be unlocked.”


First up is Quirky30, founded by Sihle Tshabalala. He had a bright future when he matriculated at the tender age of 16, but fell trap to a life of gangsterism, which ultimately led to a lengthy stay in jail. On his release, aged 30, he realised that he had to be part of the change - and started Quirky30 to empower youth in his hometown of Langa.

Quirky30 offers a course that spans a full year of IT training, covering coding, web design and graphic design. It is entirely free, and offers first-world ICT skills to individuals who may otherwise also have turned to crime in order to survive. With a staggering 34.5% of South Africans being unemployed, of whom 70% are aged 18-35, there’s a huge pool of untapped potential that desperately needs these kinds of skills.

Accenture sees this potential - and NPOs like Quirky30 are made possible by investment and mentorship, acknowledging that the youth are the future of South Africa and that they deserve every opportunity to improve their lives and contribute to society in a tangible way. More than 12 000 students have completed the course, with 90% moving into gainful employment.

Linked to this is the Skills to Succeed Academy, which helps students determine their talents and prepare for interviews with intuitive, interactive online modules that simulate the interview environment. By going through these modules, students gain more confidence in themselves, their abilities and their voice, all with the aim of securing employment and ultimately tackling youth unemployment in South Africa. Accenture recognises that by providing these skills, it is also creating a talent pipeline for the company. It continues to partner with governments, non-profits, universities and colleges to educate, train and support the incoming workforce through internship, apprenticeship and first job opportunities, including roles at Accenture.

Another focus is Accenture Enterprise Supplier Development, which empowers young, up-and-coming SME owners. This two-year programme works on increasing profitability, revenue and headcount, and allows these SMEs to become their own supply chain.

When the next generation of young business owners is equipped with critical skills, they will be ready for the digital future. One such SME is FuseIT, a software development company headed by a powerful woman, Edith Mapisa. She wanted to impact lives and livelihoods - and with guidance, investment and tapping into the collective of Accenture’s capabilities and infrastructure, has grown from a one-woman-show to an 18-strong force in the enterprise technology arena.

Read and watch more about Accenture’s work here.