The world is moving into industry 4.0, rural communities continue to lag behind, challenged with a lack of technology infrastructure and access to platforms that provide technology skills. Urglobal’s strategy is that of providing a blended solutions model in the form of a fixed and mobile technology park. This is to ensure that communities who cannot reach the fixed park (skills center) can be reached through the mobile park. This solution has been made possible with the partnership of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) who are leaders in technology training and the Department of Education who has provided access for Urglobal to use the rural school’s infrastructure. We have been successful in obtaining MICTSETA accreditation in End-user computing and IT technical support, we also work with Gain learning who has obtained accreditation in various SETAs.
Problem. The challenge faced by many rural communities in South Africa is a result of apartheid place-making trajectories and the associated spatial, social and economic consequences of these. The apartheid legacy left rural communities isolated with high levels of poverty & inequality, high unemployment rates due to illiteracy and deprivation of access to resources. The closest Universities being the Durban University of Technology (DUT) and Walter Sisulu University (WSU) are both located more than 200km away from these communities which forces people to relocate in order to access higher education resources. Providing a mobile concept solution guarantees access for all people regardless where they are located.
Solution. By using a community engagement asset-based approach to development, in 2015 Urglobal was able to engage community leaders (Chiefs and Headmen), lay people, entrepreneurs, government departments, civic and religious organizations and the youth in three rural communities located in the Alfred Nzo and Oliver Tambo Districts in the Eastern Cape Province to ascertain the type of innovation that could be entrepreneurial and bring changes for the communities. After numerous engagements with various stakeholders which lasted for two years the initiative that resulted in a pilot in 2017 was a mobile technology class for schools ranked in quintile 1-4 (Q1-Q4). These are schools located within poor communities requiring Government intervention for funding to ensure redress and redistribution of resources in the education sector.