South Africa Government

07/18/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/18/2023 05:31

MEC Mireille Wenger on bridging digital divide to create opportunities for young people in Elsie's River

Mandela Day at I-CAN: Bridging the digital divide to create opportunities for young people in Elsie's River

Mireille Wenger, provincial MEC of Finance and Economic Opportunities, spent the morning at the I-CAN Centre in Elsie's River which is a flagship and pioneering community-based centre, developed in partnership with the City of Cape Town, which provides digital skills programmes and has had more than 94,000 visitors to date, after opening in 2015.

MEC Wenger said, "As we celebrate President Mandela's legacy today, and specifically, his commitment to empowering our youth who are our future, I am thrilled to be part of the launch of the Makerspace Lab. This space has been created to encourage young entrepreneurs to use their entrepreneurial skills to develop prototypes for display, ultimately to gain exposure to generate income."

"I had the pleasure of meeting some amazing young people from Phillipi, Khayelitsha, and Elsie's River who are currently studying at I-CAN and who shared with me the opportunities for networking they have had access to through the programmes, and how design thinking helped them to realise that they can adapt to any situation."

In 2014, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism provided the funding needed for the setup and operations of the I-CAN Centre, in partnership with the City of Cape Town, who is the owner of the premises and property.

The I-CAN Centre, run by Genesis CITI, officially opened to the public in September 2015, with the aim to empower individuals with digital skills and entrepreneurship, and provides services that bring together various stakeholders, such as government, private companies, potential entrepreneurs, and non-profit organisations, to drive transformational change through access to technology.

The I-CAN Centre offers both entry-level and vendor certified vocational digital skills training and has also received accreditation from the MICT SETA for two ICT qualifications.

As of September 2022, the centre had welcomed a total of 94,426 citizen visits and 13,627 training opportunities had been delivered. These are a combination of free, donor-funded, and paid courses, providing opportunities and value for money to those who choose to learn at the centre.

"I am particularly impressed with how the I-CAN Centre provides a safe space with technology-enabled services so that citizens can access digital resources. This is particularly important for primary and high school students who rely on internet access to complete assignments, as well as for unemployed individuals, who have access to free internet to look and apply for jobs and develop their skills." said MEC Wenger.

"We have recently launched our new and ambitious economic strategy, Growth for Jobs, which has at its heart the understanding that it is the private sector, and particularly, citizens, entrepreneurs and SMMEs, that create jobs, and it is governments' job to provide the foundations of this economic growth, to enable this. A critical part of enabling this growth is making sure that citizens have the skills they need to succeed, which is why we will continue to investment in programmes like the I-CAN Centre so that our residents have access to the tools and skills they need to grab hold of opportunities," concluded MEC Wenger.

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Media Queries:
Georgina Maree - Spokesperson for the Provincial MEC of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Cell: 076 423 7541
Email: [email protected](link sends e-mail)