Mpumalanga matrics look to improve their chances of success this holiday

Lydenberg, 22 June 2022 – This school holiday, 800 grade 12 learners will attend the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (SAICA) Mpumalanga Development Camp to harness their academic potential and produce the quality pass rates needed to study degrees leading towards South Africa’s much needed professions of high demand.

46 years after the June 16 Soweto student uprising and 28 years into Democracy, the sad reality is that, today more than ever, our youth are finding it increasingly difficult to secure jobs.

In fact, according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the 1st quarter of 2022, of South Africa’s 10 million young people aged 15-24 years, only 2.5 million are in the labour force. The largest share (7.7 million or 75,1 %) of this group of young people are are classed as out of the labour force (i.e. inactive). The main reason for this, says Stats SAm is discouragement – they youth have simply lost hope of finding a job that suits their skills or in the area they reside.

Stuck in what is termed the “cycle of dependence”, there is only one sure way to help young people out of this cycle and that is to give them the opportunity to enter scarce-skills professions where the potential to find gainful and meaningful employment is more achievable. But to do that, learners need to achieve top marks in gateways subjects like maths.

‘As a key stakeholder with a vested interest in improving the quality of education in the country, SAICA’s provincial Development Camps aim to grow the pipeline of disadvantaged African and coloured learners who are eligible to study towards scarce-skills professions including the chartered accountancy profession, explains Robert Zwane, SAICA’s Executive Director: Learning, Development and National Imperatives. ‘It is with this end goal in mind that SAICA, in partnership with the provincial department of education, members of the accounting profession, universities’ representatives, and institutions, hosts week-long Development Camps that provide learners with extra lessons to improve their performance in mathematics, science, accounting and English. These camps also provide learners with life skills training and career information to help them make wise and appropriate career choices.’

These camps, hosted annually, form part of SAICA’s strategy to aid the global drive for transformation, employment and growth by supporting social and economic development as outlined in the NDP and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

This year, more than 800 Mpumalanga matrics will descend on Lydenberg to spend their July school holiday at the SAICA Mpumalanga Development Camp in order to harness their mathematic aptitude.

But the benefits of the camps extend well beyond the immediate goal of improving academic performance, adds Zwane.

‘Through the camp educators, wide range of speakers, and, more importantly, the SAICA camp leaders (former camp beneficiaries themselves), learners begin to step out of their comfort zones and are inspired and empowered to make crucial decisions about their lives and their career paths so that they can overcome the barriers to entry that restrict so many from completing matric with university exemption – especially in a subject like maths.’

Members of the accounting profession or representatives of the media who wish to visit the camps to see exactly how things work and interact with the remarkable learners who attend them, may contact Karin Jacobsen on 011 621 6913 (email: to arrange a visit. The Mpumalanga camps, which take place from 25 June to 2 July and 2 July to 9 July 2022, will accommodate 400 learners per camp.