10.2 C
Johannesburg
Wed, May 12, 2021

Home Blog

Prosus Plans To Buy 45.5% Stake In Parent Firm Naspers, Pushing Its Free Float’s Market Value Above R1.4 Trillion

Prosus
Bob van Dijk

Global tech investors Prosus announced plans to buy up to 45.4% of shares in its parent company, Naspers.  Post the transaction, Prosus free float would double to more than $100 billion (R1.4 trillion), increasing liquidity, market index weightings and enhanced trading dynamics.

The Prosus board believes that the company will benefit from the step-up in size of its free float resulting from the proposed transaction. This transaction is expected to bring increased liquidity, improved market index weightings as a Top 20 STOXX 50 company, and enhanced trading dynamics, creating value for both Prosus and Naspers shareholders over the long term.

As part of the deal, Naspers shareholders will be invited to tender existing Naspers N Ordinary shares for newly issued Prosus Ordinary shares N.

Prosus will acquire 45.4% of the issued Naspers N Ordinary shares.

On completion of the transaction, Prosus will hold a 49.5% interest in Naspers.

The effective economic interest for the Prosus free float in the underlying assets will more than double from around 27% to about 60% through Naspers’ cross-holding. The deal aims to move part of the value of their massive stake in Tencent to Europe from Africa.

 “The share offer we have announced today will extend Prosus’s standing as Europe’s largest internet company. By increasing the size of the Prosus free float and more than doubling its ownership of the group’s outstanding global consumer internet portfolio, we create a stable construct that maintains the group’s operational, strategic and financial flexibility,” Bob van Dijk, Group CEO Prosus and Naspers said.

“Prosus shareholders benefit directly as Prosus buys increased exposure to the underlying assets through its acquisition of higher discount Naspers shares.”

Post the deal, Naspers remains domiciled in South Africa as the JSE’s largest listed company and retains control of Prosus.

Naspers
Naspers. Image source: livemint

Naspers will continue to be a significant tax contributor to the South African fiscus. In full-year 2020 Naspers contributed an estimated R10.2 billion in direct and indirect taxes to South African public finances, including an estimated amount of R7.2 billion, which relates to the listing of Prosus in September 2019.

The proposed transaction is expected to generate between R3.8 and R5.8 billion of tax revenues for South Africa. Naspers will continue to actively invest in South Africa through its e-commerce and media assets and backing of early-stage technology businesses via Naspers Foundry

On completion, the transaction will create immediate value for Naspers and Prosus shareholders.

“Since the listing of Prosus in 2019, we have been carefully considering many options to further enhance the group’s structure and we have decided on this route as it is efficient, implementable in the near term and comes with minimal friction costs,” Basil Sgourdos, Group CFO Prosus and Naspers said.

 

“It preserves Naspers as the largest South Africa-domiciled company on the JSE and its control of Prosus. The two transaction creates immediate value for Naspers shareholders when they swap their higher discount to NAV Naspers shares for lower discount to NAV Prosus shares.

 

“The offer is constructed to deliver proportional value creation to both sets of shareholders. Value creation on the day will be shared between the Naspers and Prosus free float according to their current ownership of the underlying net asset value.”

The proposed transaction has already been approved by the South African Reserve Bank and is subject to other customary regulatory approvals.

Prosus shareholders will also be asked to approve certain matters required to implement the transaction.

The proposed transaction is expected to be implemented in the third quarter of 2021.

 

JSE-Listed Transaction Capital Wants To Take Control of WeBuyCars

WeBuyCars
Car. Photo by Alex Amorales from Pexels

Transaction Capital, the owners of SA Taxi, is in talks to buy an additional stake in WeBuyCars, a South African online car marketplace.

The JSE-listed company informed investors today that it has entered formal negotiations with WBC Holdings (WBC Holdco), the holding company of WeBuyCars, and its shareholders to conclude a transaction in the short term.

Transaction Capital said the deal would result in Transaction Capital Motor Holdco holding 74.9% of the shares in and acquiring control of WBC Holdco. Founders of WeBuyCars would have the remaining 25.1% stake.

The company currently holds a 49.9% stake in the South African online car marketplace. Transaction Capital bought the shares on 11 September 2020.

Post the transaction, the enterprise value of WeBuyCars would be R3.69 billion.

Transaction Capital said it has a robust balance sheet with ample capacity to fund organic growth. The company added that R1.1 billion of new equity raised over the past 12 months to part-fund the group’s value and accretive earnings investment in WeBuyCars.

WeBuyCars is South Africa’s trusted trader of used vehicles through its vertically integrated, data and technology-led e-commerce and physical infrastructure.

Transaction Capital said WeBuyCars is uniquely positioned in South Africa’s large & resilient used vehicle market.

WeBuyCars reported a 38% rise in headline earnings to R257 million for the six months to end-March 2021.

Headline earnings attributable to Transaction Capital was R113 million versus R19 in full-year 2020.

The South African online car marketplace also reported a 36% rise in revenue to R4.7 billion.

WeBuyCars uses artificial intelligence technology to adjust pricing according to the value and demand of a vehicle. It extends its offering beyond buying and selling cars as a principal and offers finance, insurance, tracking and other allied products as an agent.

The company has a nationwide presence with seven vehicle supermarkets, 22 buying pods,  more than 170 national buyers. It is planning to open a new eight-vehicle supermarket in Gauteng on 1 June 2021.

Also read: SA’s Competition Watchdog Blocks Naspers Deal to Buy WeBuyCars

DeepMind Launches Scholarship For Four Wits Masters Students In Machine Learning

Wits University
Wits University

DeepMind, an Alphabet company and a world leader in the field of artificial intelligence research and its applications in the real world, has donated scholarship funding for four Wits students to complete their Master’s degrees in the field of machine learning.

The scholarships will fund students registering for MSc degrees in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, or Robotics in the academic years between 2022 and 2024.

The scholarships, known as the DeepMind Scholarships, will only be awarded to students who would not take up their studies without financial assistance. Preference will also be afforded to South African citizens from underrepresented groups, including black students and women. It will also be open to international students, with a preference to residents of Sub-Saharan African states.

“The spirit of the donation and the DeepMind Scholarships is to increase diversity in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and to increase the representation of the groups currently most underrepresented in these fields,” says Obum Ekeke, Global Lead, University Relations & Education Partnerships at DeepMind. “We are proud to help support the next generation of AI researchers and engineers in Africa.”

The Scholarships will provide tuition fees, a stipend, conference and equipment funding for two Masters students who aim to complete their degree through a dissertation over two years and two students who enrol in a Master’s programme through coursework and dissertation over two years.

“Artificial Intelligence is an important building block and a key driver in the Wits Digital Transformation suite of centenary projects, of which artificial intelligence and machine learning is a key driver,” says Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University.

In participating in the DeepMind scholarships programme, Wits University joins world-leading universities in machine learning and artificial intelligence such as the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, New York University and University College London. It is one of only three African universities selected to host DeepMind Scholarships, alongside Stellenbosch University and Makerere University.

Scholars get their Masters’ fees paid in full and guidance and support from a personal DeepMind mentor.

Professor Benjamin Rosman, associate professor in the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Wits, says the scholarships will become a much-needed platform and launchpad to the careers of some of the country’s most talented students in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at Wits.

“This is an exciting recognition of Wits’ role as a leader in Machine Learning and AI in Africa. Enabled by this support from DeepMind, Wits will bring an even broader range of African talent to the global conversation in cutting-edge AI research,” says Rosman.

Prospective Masters students in the fields of AI and machine learning are encouraged to visit the Wits website for more information on how to apply for the DeepMind scholarships.

African Economies Compared – 2021 Situation

Africa
Abuja, Nigeria. Image source: Space in Africa

Africa is a breathtaking continent with plenty of natural resources, raw materials, precious metals, and rich soil. Agriculture, natural capital, and commerce are the key economic factors. It was the fastest-growing continent in 2013 and continues to be a centre of capital, creativity, and innovations. With continued growth and improvement, the African economy is expected to hit a GDP of $29 trillion by 2050, making it a significant player in the global economy. Much of the countries in this region, according to the World Bank, will achieve “middle income” status over the next decade, with a GDP per capita of at least $1,000. This is why it is very interesting to compare the top African economies, for now, to become able to make the proper forecasts for the future.

Nigeria

With a population of over 200 million people, this West African nation is an important part of the African economy. Nigeria is Africa’s wealthiest economy, with a GDP of just under $450 billion dollars. Finance, transportation, infrastructure, tourism, and a surplus of crude oil are all major contributors to the country’s large GDP. According to OPEC, the country exports about 1.6 million barrels of crude oil a day, making it Africa’s biggest crude oil exporter. Petroleum exports account for 10% of the country’s overall GDP and over 80% of the export sector’s income.

There is still enough fertile land for agriculture, which accounts for over 20% of GDP and produces cocoa and rubber. Nigeria’s huge population has seen the country become Africa’s largest consumer retailer, and its technologically savvy citizens have added to the country’s fast-growing tech industry. Nigeria, with its colourful cultural diversity, diverse ethnicities, natural beauty, and huge population, remains Africa’s richest nation and the continent’s top producer in terms of GDP production.

South Africa

As Africa’s second richest economy, this southernmost nation is a major player on the continent. The nation is considered one of the fastest-developing in the world, with a rapidly industrialized economy, modern technology, and a GDP of over $350 billion. Political and economic instability, on the other hand, have hampered its ability to reach its full potential. After witnessing four quarters of negative GDP growth, the nation was forced into recession, and progress has stalled, with GDP increasing by just 0.2% in 2019. South Africa also has the world’s highest rates of inequality.

Uganda

Due to the results of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Uganda’s actual gross domestic product (GDP) rose at 2.9% in FY20, less than half of the 6.8% reported in FY19. In FY21, GDP is predicted to rise at a similar rate. Due to a domestic lockdown that lasted more than four months, border closures for all but critical cargo, and the spillover consequences of shocks to foreign demand and supply chains, economic growth slowed in the second half of FY20.

As a result, public spending fell sharply and private demand slowed, wreaking havoc on the industrial and service sectors, especially the informal service sector. Those are especially the financial industries that are difficult for the government to regulate, for example, forex or crypto-industry. As a result, we see the increased demand for Forex brokers in Uganda in 2021, from people to generate some financial profits during the economic crisis. Furthermore, although lower oil prices are good for Uganda’s trade balance and real development, they put investment plans in the Ugandan oil field, which was supposed to start producing and exporting by 2024/25, at risk.

Egypt

For several years, this ancient land in Northern Africa retained the title of Africa’s richest nation. The currency, on the other hand, was seriously harmed, and foreign exchange reserves plummeted as a result of the Arab revolt in 2011. Egypt is currently the third richest country on the planet, with a new GDP of over $300 billion.

Petroleum and natural gas exports, tourism, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, and real estate are the mainstays of the Egyptian economy. In recent years, the state’s economy has diversified away from raw material production, with service-based jobs accounting for more than half of the GDP. However, Egypt may face socio-economic problems as a result of a significant percentage of the population living in poverty, unemployment, a shaky healthcare system, and a global slowdown.

Morocco

Morocco ranks fifth on this list of Africa’s wealthiest nations, with a GDP of nearly $120 billion. This North African country’s economy is diverse and resilient, with expansion in a variety of sectors over the last decade. It is Africa’s second-richest non-oil-producing country. Mining and manufacturing are the mainstays of the country’s economy. Industry accounts for 30% of Morocco’s GDP, agriculture accounts for 15%, and services account for 55%. This is bolstered by the burgeoning tourism industry, with residents accepting travelers and the government putting a heavy focus on drawing visitors to the country’s well-known attractions.

Morocco is the world’s third-largest source of phosphorus, relying heavily on agriculture. The country has reaped significant benefits from its diverse exports, which include electrical appliances, aircraft, and vehicle components, among other things. In addition, the mobile and textile sectors contribute significantly to the economy.

Vodacom Is Connecting For The First Time Villages In The Free State, Northern Cape To 3G, 4G

Vodacom
Vodacom 4G

Vodacom Central Region, covering the Free State and Northern Cape provinces, has switched on 21 new 3G and 4G enabled base station sites in deep rural areas across the province during March and April alone. Deployed across 21 villages, these base stations will provide connectivity in some of the big local municipalities in Free State and Northern Cape provinces for the first time. The new sites will deliver fast internet connectivity and connect the unconnected, particularly in deep rural areas of the province to ensure inclusion for all.

The new sites in Ubuntu, Joe Morolong, Siyancuma, Tokologo, Mangaung, Tswaing, Ga-Segonyana, Kagisono-Molopo, Dikgatlong, Matjhabeng, Sol Plaatjie, Dihlabeng, Naledi Local Municipalities are part of Vodacom’s Rural Coverage Acceleration Programme, aimed at expanding network coverage for people who live in deep rural areas of South Africa to augment the good work that Vodacom regions have done in ramping up network infrastructure outside of urban areas over many years.

GSMA research shows that while the availability of high-speed broadband is critical to deep rural development, deep rural communities are lagging behind in terms of broadband connectivity, excluding many from digital transformation and access to the digital economy.

“We have embarked on a crucial network investment drive in our province as part of the rural network expansion programme so that we address coverage gaps in deep rural and township areas,” Tsotsi Mthimunye, Managing Executive for Vodacom Central Region, said.

“The new sites are going to provide faster internet speeds, greater capacity and help to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas of Free State and Northern Cape provinces. This is part of our vision to make sure that we connect everyone whether they live in the cities, townships or in the rural areas, which requires investment.”

RURAL AREA
Vodacom 3G

The region has spent over R207 million to maintain and upgrade network infrastructure across the province during the 2020/21 financial period during which time a total of 40 new sites across the region.

The region has spent R67 million in 2020/21 financial year deploying new sites in deep rural areas in Bethlehem, Fouriesburg, Clocolan, Fauresmith, Griekwastad, Bothabille, Kroonstad, Portsmaburg, Jagersfontein, Parys, Qwa-Qwa, Prieska, Kgalagadi Theunissen. They plan to invest in more sites in the next financial period. All the sites were built by black-owned SMMEs, part of the SMME Incubation programme, aimed at developing and supporting black-owned and managed SMMEs in the Free State and Northern Cape provinces.

Vodacom’s commitment to accelerate network coverage for people who live in deep rural areas has yielded a significant positive societal impact. Within months of Vodacom having deployed new 3G and 4G sites, school-going kids can now access the internet for the first time whilst those who are actively looking for jobs are using their smartphones can apply for jobs over the internet. They have the option of using Vodacom’s e-School and jobs portals that are both zero-rated for Vodacom subscribers. Those who previously had to travel long distances to do banking are doing this on their devices from the comfort of their homes.

There is no doubt of the correlation between increased internet access and economic growth, so by providing connectivity in rural areas of our country, we are playing a crucial role in driving South Africa’s economy.

The World Bank study concludes that a 10 percentage point increase in fixed broadband penetration could increase Gross Domestic Product growth by 1.21% in developed economies and 1.38% in developing ones. Thus, the deployment of networks in rural areas will help to enhance socio-economic development in rural areas and access to the internet will help rural dwellers access services such as eHealth, eEducation and eCommerce taking South Africa Further Together.

EdTech Firm StuDocu Raises R700 Million To Accelerate Its Global Student Note-Sharing Network

StuDocu
StuDocu Leadership Team

StuDocu, an Amsterdam-based EdTech (education technology) company that is seeing exceptional growth, is announcing $50 million (over R700 million) Series B funding from Partech. The company plans to invest this capital in further boosting its exponential global growth and South Africa is one of the markets they’d like to expand.

StuDocu offers students a platform to exchange knowledge, has passed 15 million users worldwide and reveals they have 100 000 South African students actively using their platform.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to move from social to remote, little to none was known about EdTech and the companies making waves in this industry. But now, a year after students were made to adapt to remote classroom setups and rely solely on technology to communicate with their lecturers and peers, EdTech and the innovations in this arena are finally getting their day in the sun.

At a time when the effectiveness of remote learning is being questioned and Zoom fatigue is now commonplace with students across the globe, StuDocu has hit new highs by reaching 15 million students from 2000 universities across 60 countries. And they believe this is all down to the platform’s ability to give students the power to work smarter, by allowing them fast access to valuable and relevant resources and notes, in a time when they need help most.

“Our online content library was actually started from our dorm rooms,” explains Marnix Broer, CEO and co-founder of StuDocu, “and as students ourselves, we were consistently trying to figure out more efficient ways of collecting useful study resources from our friends and classmates – and this is where the idea of StuDocu was born.”

As an online platform, that gives students the opportunity to share their study materials like lecture notes, summaries and practice materials, and exchange this knowledge with fellow students, StuDocu is on a mission to serve all 200 million college and university students globally.

Previous funding rounds kick-started StuDocu’s expansion to markets like Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK and the United States which helped the platform become the international leader in the document sharing space. But it’s not only in developed countries where StuDocu is seeing growth, they recently revealed that countries like Mexico had more than 1.5 million users, Argentina 450 000, and Brazil 280 000 – revealing a strong trend in students working to find better and more effective ways to study remotely.

“Our mission is to help students worldwide make the most of their studies,” says Broer, “and with Partech’s scale-up experience on-board, StuDocu is set up well for reaching even more students with even better products in the years to come.”

Also read: Global EdTech Innovator iXperience Bags R35 Million To Accelerate The Way The World Learns

Pick n Pay Wants Smart Shoppers To Use R200 Million Unclaimed Points

Pick n Pay
Pick n Pay Smart Shopper. Image source: Pick n Pay

Pick n Pay is encouraging customers to use over R200 million in unredeemed Smart Shopper points – the amount unclaimed by customers in the last 12 months. These points have been accumulated from everyday swipes and bonus points, or through Pick n Pay partners, such as BP.

Pick n Pay’s Smart Shopper – South Africa’s favourite loyalty programme with over 8.5 million active members – last year delivered over R3.5 billion in savings to customers through personalised discounts, instant cash-off discounts with its Smart Price, points and multi-buy deals. But accumulated points worth R200 million have yet to be claimed.

The Smart Shopper programme provides customers with immediate savings when swiping their card in-store, but also rewards customers with points which can be used directly at any till point as a cashback within 12 months from earning the points.

Andrew Mills, retail executive: marketing at Pick n Pay, says that they are encouraging customers to check their points balance, and register their Smart Shopper card if they haven’t done so already so they can spend their points.

“Earning points is easy and customers immediately start earning points every time they swipe their card at the checkout. To redeem their points, customers need first to register their card.”

Pick n Pay has launched a new WhatsApp chat and USSD service to make registration effortless for customers. Cardholders can simply dial *134*930*CARDNUMBER# on their mobile phone, or add PnP on Whatsapp (“+27 60 070 3037”) and select the Smart Shopper menu option to register their card.  Customers can still register their Smart Shopper cards via the PnP App, website or via the in-store kiosks.

“This past year has been tough for customers, and they increasingly turned to our Smart Shopper programme to get great savings and discounts”, says Mills. “Everyday low Smart Prices, alongside bi-weekly personalised discounts, have driven loyalty participation to 75% of sales, from 65% last year,” said Mills.

“Our Smart Price deals give customers instant savings on basic essential items. Our Smart Shopper card also allows customers to save money for use later by accumulating their points.  We want customers to get this extra great cash-back benefit that Smart Shopper offers, and we’re encouraging customers to check their Smart Shopper status to ensure they aren’t missing out on more savings.”

Also read: Vodacom Wants To Pay Millions To Elusive YeboYethu Shareholders

Open Finance: Screen-Scraping Fears Highlight Need For Change

Open Finance
Jikku Joseph – Managing Director at 22seven

There has been recent press covering screen-scraping scams and how these scams could target individuals and businesses. There is a better answer to these concerns than restraining your data. In addition to warning customers to be vigilant of bad actors, our financial institutions would do well to support the development of an Open Finance environment. Under Open Finance, we have control over our financial data and who can see it and use it to help us. The promise of Open Finance is that if our financial data is shareable in a safe and ethical manner, it could add significant value to our lives.

This wave of regulatory change, already in the UK and Europe,  is making its way to South Africa, as seen by recent consultation papers from the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) and Reserve Bank. Open Finance enables safe and easy data sharing through standardising technology that has existed for some time.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) — software that allows different systems to talk to each other — allow financial institutions to securely share our data, with consent, with approved third parties. Approved third-party companies can use this data to create customer value by developing innovative products and services.

Screen-scraping — a technique whereby a third party logs into a customer’s banking profile as if it is the customer — has arisen out of the need to create an environment that Open Finance itself seeks to create. Screen-scraping is the available alternative given that financial institutions have typically not developed these APIs to share data in an elegant manner.

Some financial institutions have used their dominance to argue that screen-scraping provides third parties with uncontrolled access and that bad actors may commit fraud. These claims may be to obstruct competition, when, in practice, no local cases of screen-scraping fraud have been shared.

In its recent consultation paper on open finance, the FSCA acknowledges that “screen-scraping, when practised by responsible parties, is a usable mechanism for data access with good control for security and operational risk”. The Reserve Bank also proposes facilitated screen-scraping “as a fallback mechanism when open APIs are inaccessible”.

Locally, 22seven and three major SA banks partnered with one of the most reputable data aggregators in the world to collect financial data via screen-scraping. Since its inception in 2012, 22seven has not had a reported instance of fraud or financial crime.

While we wait for Open Finance, our financial institutions should engage with each other and third-party companies to preserve a safe environment for sharing data. It will benefit us all.

  • Jikku Joseph – Managing Director at 22seven

SoftwareONE Appoints Marilyn Moodley As Boss Of South Africa Business

SoftwareONE
Marilyn Moodley SoftwareOne Rosebank, Johannesburg. South Africa 22 April 2021 Photograph: John Hogg

Marilyn Moodley has been appointed as South African Country Leader for SoftwareONE, an end-to-end cloud technology and software solutions company operating in over 90 countries. An eight-year veteran with the company, Moodley takes over the reins from Grant Bryce who is now leading SoftwareONE Ireland.

Her new role comes at an exciting time for SoftwareONE as it rapidly expands its capabilities into areas like SAP migration services, application modernisation and hyperscale cloud services and solutions.

In the last six months alone, the organisation has acquired five companies and formed two strategic partnerships – including a global SAP and app modernisation focused alliance with Microsoft – to rapidly increase its breadth and depth of services, with a primary focus on helping organisations to digitally transform by moving to the cloud.

“At SoftwareONE we believe that digital transformation is underpinned by commercial and technology transformation,” explains Moodley. “In the technology space, we help our customers create future workplaces, enabling employees to work productively from anywhere. We do this with our advisory, migration, and managed services for Microsoft 365, as well as Adoption & Change Management, security, back up and unified communications.

“Similarly at the data centre level, we work with customers to move on-premise and legacy systems to the hyperscale cloud providers – particularly Microsoft and AWS, but also Google Cloud. We take them from initial advisories, which are often fully funded due to our global relationship with the cloud providers, through to migration and fully managed services including managed security and application modernisation,” she continues.

Commercial transformation is another core area of focus for SoftwareONE. Using its licensing legacy, the company provides extensive advisory services on how to get maximum value from tech spend, including SAP, Microsoft, Oracle and IBM license and compliance advisories, as well as providing Software Lifecycle Management and FinOps.  All of this is underpinned by its own proprietary PyraCloud platform, which allows customers to digitise their software supply chain, manage contracts and track, control and predict cloud spend across multiple providers.

“In the eight years that I’ve been at SoftwareONE, the company has grown massively both geographically and in our breadth of services and solutions. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be taking control as we are genuinely able to act as a trusted partner to our customers ensuring they get the most value out of their IT spend while helping them transform in the process. The opportunity in South Africa and Africa to use technology to grow is phenomenal and I personally look forward to being part of this success story,” says Moodley.

WeThinkCode Durban Campus Offers 100 Free Programming Learnerships

WeThinkCode
WeThinkCode

WeThinkCode has landed in Durban/eThekwini and applications are open for a full-time, fully-sponsored two-year programming course. The software programming academy is inviting potential candidates in the region to apply to its tuition-free, two-year software programming course which starts in July.

One hundred places are available – part of WeThinkCode ’s plan to increase its total student intake to 450 in 2021.

The academy already has campuses in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

“We know that South Africa has a vast pool of untapped talent with the aptitude to be trained in technology.  At the same time our youth unemployment is among the highest in the world,” WeThinkCode‘s CEO Nyari Samushonga, explains.

“Our plans are based on the desire to give more South Africans the opportunity to join the digital world and help build the country’s technology skills capability.

“The Durban metropole has seen significant growth in business activity over the past few years, hence our decision to open a campus there.  This is an exciting development for us.”

A physical space in a digital world

WeThinkCode uses a blended-learning approach, hence the need for a local campus.

While much of the academy’s teaching is done online, a place where students and faculty can gather is a critical part of the learning process.

“A physical space for learning facilitates community, inspiration, innovation and provides a safe place for our students to share experiences and iron out challenges they may be facing in mastering the coursework. KZN youth wanting a career in software programming can now apply to study at a campus on their doorstep,” she adds.

Access for all

Inclusiveness is central to the academy’s ethos.  “WeThinkCode is open to everyone. Specifically, we aim to increase the number of women programmers on our course and our target is for women to exceed 40% of our student contingent in 2021,” Samushonga says.

Geographical expansion and the inclusion of more women are not the only evolutionary processes happening at WeThinkCode.

“Finding candidates with the right aptitude and attitude is crucial and therefore we are using a newly-developed approach to identify youth with the required cognitive skills. These are individuals that would otherwise be overlooked by traditional selection methods. In addition, we draw on the expertise of leading technologists for the design of our course material.  These experts are continually updating the curriculum content to keep it relevant as the technology landscape changes,” she concludes.

Anyone wishing to apply for the course should go here.

Sponsored Content