A Soweto-born University of Mpumalanga student’s journey to entrepreneurship is well on course, thanks to a comprehensive cellphone repair programme that is already helping him earn a living while getting through his studies.
Khumbulane Phakathi (20) is one of the 149 beneficiaries of the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa’s (NEMISA) Cell Phone Repairs Training Programme.
NEMISA derives its mandate from the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies which aims to provide national digital skills training to improve the lives of South Africans.
The programme targets unemployed youth in different communities and capacitates them to be cellphone repairers.
Phakathi expressed gratitude for the programme.
“I have learned theory and how to diagnose, fix and replace damaged cellphone parts. Furthermore, I have received fundamental digital and business management skills. The opportunity came with a free package to officially register my business with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission,” said the final year Bachelor of Sciences in Environmental Sciences student.
Phakathi named his business KTEC CONNECT Pty Ltd which is also his primary source of income while being a student.
“I am now able to generate money from my business to sustain a living with the money I make from fixing cellphones,” he added.
NEMISA National CoLab Director Rorisang Molukanele said the programme that Phakathi participated in, seeks to create cellphone repairers with foundational knowledge in business development and the capabilities to start and sustain their businesses.
“For South Africa to further improve its ranking in the digital economy, it is crucial that its citizens acquire the digital skills they need to fully participate in the digital economy. South Africans live in an increasingly online world whilst a significant part of the population remains digitally excluded.”
Molukanele said cellphone repairing is a technical skill linked to the broader National Digital and Future Skills strategy which aims to upskill South Africans with digital and technical skills.
The organisation believes that the purpose of the training opportunity is to prepare learners to operate as qualified cellphone repairers, with the ability to troubleshoot, repair, and maintain various types of cellphone models in rural and urban residential areas. Siphe Macanda is a Communications Officer for NEMISA.