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OMAI fuels youth empowerment with R400m injection

OMAI fuels youth empowerment with R400m injection
15-09-23 / Shelly Nxumalo

OMAI fuels youth empowerment with R400m injection

Cape Town - Hybrid Equity, a division of Old Mutual Alternative Investments (OMAI) has announced a R400 million funding commitment to the Tutuwa Community Trust to amplify South African youth education and empowerment initiatives.  

The move sees the refinancing of an outstanding R150 million this August, bolstered by an additional R250 million in new capital earmarked for acquiring new investment assets.  

"South Africa's youth are at the heart of this transaction. It's about the significant impact that a deal of this size will unlock for South Africa's future," says Mujaahid Hassan, Co-Head of Hybrid Equity at OMAI. 

Hassan says that the deal underscores the vast impact such capital has on the lives of young South Africans, as it realises the Tutuwa Community Trust's vision of nurturing the nation's youth through the widespread work of its sole beneficiary, the Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation NPC. 

Since its establishment in 2016, the Foundation has invested R150 million to achieve social change in three main youth-focussed areas – early childhood development, schooling and post-schooling work readiness to achieve significant and enduring social impact. 

From this investment, R33 million has been used to address the lack of access to quality early learning in a child's formative years, identified as a significant constraint to learning later. Currently, more than 3.2 million children under five cannot access an early learning programme. 

The Foundation has invested R70 million into schooling to help address issues in basic education. Initial teacher education quality is widely variable across learning institutions and has shown to be inadequate for preparing teachers to deliver quality teaching in the classroom. 

In post-schooling spending, the Foundation invested R47 million focussing on the crisis of approximately 9.1 million young South Africans who can be categorised as youth not in employment, education or training, a term used to describe young people who are disconnected from the economy as they are not in employment, education or training. This equals around 44% of approximately 20.6 million 15 to 34-year-olds in South Africa. 

The need for skilled artisans is a significant impediment to job creation and economic growth in South Africa. In this context, the Foundation partnered with the Artisan Training Institute to train, trade certify and place 50 young artisans into industry employment. The programme includes 18 months of on-the-job training and strongly emphasises work placement upon certification. All 50 beneficiaries have completed phase 1 and 2 training and were placed with host employers. 

Hassan says OMAI's commitment can be traced back to 2019 when they envisioned periodic funding upscaling every four to five years. Today, the Tutuwa Community Trust has the means to invest in further assets worth R250m, a significant escalation from the initial R100m. 

"Our foundational goal in 2019 was to upscale the funding periodically, which enriches and diversifies Tutuwa's investment assets. Today, we're witnessing the powerful results of that vision. The essence of this partnership surpasses the financial figures," he says.  

As the Trust's investment portfolio grows and diversifies this directly correlates with escalating dividend income. This income will be channelled into the Foundation's primary mission of enhancing the educational fabric of the nation and improving the future economic prospects of young South Africans, particularly those not in employment, education or training. 

Zanele Twala, CEO of the Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation says that Tutuwa has been unwavering in its purpose of driving economic development and alleviating poverty through providing educational opportunities to South Africa's youth.   

"At Tutuwa, we partner with leading organisations who share our vision for holistic national development by focusing on historically disadvantaged youth. This investment isn't just another financial deal but a pivotal moment to enhance Tutuwa's contribution to an education system that is just and equitable in which all young people in South Africa are given the opportunity to thrive," Twala concludes. 

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