Workplace doors opened for rural students

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

Young unemployed youth from rural areas now have a greater chance of finding employment, thanks to a woman-owned business that was funded by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

Malitinne is a job placement company that focuses on finding employment for students from rural areas and mainly from technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges. Owner Sibusisiwe Kraai (36) said she started the business after noticing how rural youth who had studied at universities of technology and TVET colleges were struggling to find internships and in-service training opportunities.

Malitinne received NYDA grant funding valued at R49 820. In addition, Kraai said the agency refers young people who are looking for in-service opportunities to her company.

“We place graduates and undergraduates in workplaces for in-service training. We approach TVET colleges, universities and private training providers to see if we can assist their learners in securing placements,” she said.

Some of the TVET colleges that Kraai’s company works with are Umfolozi, Esayidi and UMgungundlovu. The company also draws talent from the Mangosuthu University of Technology, the University of Johannesburg and Walter Sisulu University, among others.

Since starting Malitinne five years ago, Kraai said they have managed to place over 9 000 students in jobs in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

“Of these, I can safely say we have achieved 36 percent permanent employment.”

Kraai herself had struggled to find an in-service training placement for eight months, after completing the academic part of her diploma in Local Government and Development Management at Mancosa.

During her time at Edinvest Holdings, which worked with local municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, Kraai realised how much rural youth battled to find work experience opportunities. This reminded her of her own struggles and she decided to do something about it.

She said: “We recruit from the deepest rural areas because it’s those learners who are suffering the most. You find that academically they are very good but when it comes to expressing themselves during interviews, they are very scared.”

Today, Kraai holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting degree from the Regent Business School and aims to expand Malitinne’s operations after receiving accreditation to train students for national certificates in furniture making, clothing and textile design, silviculture and forestry.

Youth who are looking for help from the NYDA can call 0800 52 52 52 or send an email to

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