The promise of the future

By Phakiso Pax Mataitsane, Founder and CEO of Pax Divitiae.

Johannesburg, 01 Mar 2022
Phakiso Pax Mataitsane.
Phakiso Pax Mataitsane.

In January, results of the matriculation examination were released, marking the end of the high school system for another group of young people. A total of 897 163 candidates sat and wrote their national certificates, with a pass rate of 76.2%, resulting in 256 031 bachelor passes and 36.4% on senior certificates. While this was an exciting time for everyone involved, parents will now have to use all their savings or earnings to fund their children's higher education. The question is what will the current class of 2021 do once they finish their studies in tertiary institutions? Their reality is that after three to four years of higher education, most of them will be joining the +3.7 million unemployed youth as the number will continually increase in the future.

Each year, the State of the Nation Address strives to highlight the need for job creation among youth. Statistics show that 74.4% of youth are unemployed, but there hasn't been any improvement since the last few State of the Nation Addresses. As a matter of fact, we seem to be getting worse on this item that should be our number one priority. As the country's leading spender, is the government doing its part to address this issue? The answer is clearly no… When it comes to service tenders issued, we've been following the same procedures for the past few years. In the same vein, we continue to look for only experienced candidates. Despite youth unemployment being a priority, government fails to mention employment of youth in its calls for services?

A fundamental question we need to ask is: how many graduates or non-experienced people are we hiring as leaders in companies (and not just for the scorecard) while making sure to upskill and train them for long-term employment?

We must observe this matter from a personal perspective. Think about your own children and who will recruit them once they complete their studies. The experience we have now is due to someone taking the risk and embracing us in a work environment to deliver value. Could we not do the same in order to ensure a sustainable future for our country?

As the country approaches 16 June – Youth Day – we will hear the same messages and campaigns on youth employment and empowerment, which will be all talk and no action. Why do we promise our kids a future yet we don't equip them with the skills and empower them as they grow?

In ICT, we have the opportunity to do things differently and become a leader in the African continent around 4IR skills and technology. We are not doing enough to push on this golden opportunity. As a country, we have the resources to readjust and transform our ICT spend to ensure that we think of new ways to do things and incorporate new technologies and skills.

Our budgets can be rethought and analysed to question and optimise the total cost of ownership for legacy solutions. The savings can be subsequently used to embrace the new wave of solutions and skills required. The most fascinating aspect of the new solutions is that they are new and the experience in them is limited, so it is a great opportunity to put a new graduates on this path and be the pioneer in uncharted territory.

At Pax Divitiae, we have done this as a small business. Our team started with our advisory business unit, we save companies money on their current investments and lower their total cost of ownership. Through these efforts, we have created a requirement for creating jobs from these savings realised, while focusing on developing new innovative solutions and skills that will propel us to the future and make a meaningful impact. This has allowed us to create long-term jobs for the youth, thus we hired about 10 youth graduates to enter as employees in our innovation hub business unit.

The business then split into two parts, and one segment, which is the advisory services business unit, focuses on assessing asset costs and reducing costs, including managing software assets. Our second business unit, known as the innovation hub, looks at the physical assets, with Archibus, Appello for Asset Evaluations, Invgate for full configuration management database (CMDB) solutions; then key platforms and technology with Microfocus CyberRes and Testing Solution, SoftwareAG for legacy systems modernisation, and then our golden and most innovative platform Google Cloud and UiPath for robotic process automation.

Our journey has been of learning, reinvesting and not just paying lip service, but being the change we need in the country by addressing current youth unemployment. Considering most of our team do not have many years of experience, we have partnered with companies and people with experience to help us on this journey. Ultimately, we want to deliver everlasting value, so we have to begin somewhere.

Let me leave you with this question: if a small business like ours can hire 10 youth graduates in one year, what can you do as a large organisation or public sector entity to help us grow and open doors so that we can create jobs for our future? Get in touch with us to find out how we can benefit your business with tangible value.

Unemployment is not solely the government's responsibility, but a social and moral responsibility for all of us... What are you doing to ensure a better future for our country?