Igniting Opportunity for Cape Town’s Youth
This is part four in a series highlighting the SAP Social Sabbatical for global engagement in Cape Town, South Africa, which focused on bridging the digital and education divide in the city’s most underserved communities. Read part one, two, and three here.
South Africa is home to some of the world’s best universities, but the average young South African likely won’t step foot on any of the country’s prestigious campuses. The legacy of apartheid has perpetuated an economic and education system inaccessible to the vast majority of youth. According to the Public Council of Higher Education in South Africa, only 16 percent of black South Africans go to college—the country is 80 percent black. Access to tertiary education has emerged as a common issue of discourse in South Africa’s political and social landscape as students across the country protest rising tuition costs and unequal access.
In an economy where quality education is necessary for employment, yet unaffordable to most students, the country is facing a gap in skilled labor. This education crisis has fueled a dangerous level of youth unemployment in South Africa; the World Economic Forum ranked the country with the third highest unemployment rate in the world for people between the ages of 15 to 24.
Recognizing this enormous gap in education access, TSiBA, a unique, private, nonprofit business school, was founded in 2004 to enable talented students from underserved communities to become active participants in the South African economy. TSiBA’s mission is to provide full scholarships and academic programs at the tertiary level to talented students who would not otherwise have the resources to continue their education. Since opening its doors 12 years ago to a small group of talented students on a single campus in Cape Town, TSiBA has grown its academic offering to two campuses, four qualifications, and to nearly 500 registered students.