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Colab and City of Cape Town collaborates in helping Leondale Community bridge the digital divide


12 OCTOBER 2017


City helps Leonsdale youth to bridge the digital divide

The City of Cape Town, in partnership with the University of the Western Cape (UWC), last week kicked off a training course in programming (coding) for unemployed youth and Grade 11 – 12 learners. This initiative is linked to the City’s SmartCape Programme. Read more below:

A first of its kind for the City, the accredited CoLab digital training programme is empowering learners to understand the fundamentals of programming (coding) concepts. The Introduction to Object Oriented Programming course is a stepping stone for leaners to pursue careers in the Information Technology environment, including working as computer programmers or software developers.

The City and UWC have partnered to train a group of 17 youths from Leonsdale – eight learners from Elswood Senior Secondary School and nine unemployed youth. The minimum requirement to qualify for the training was foundational skills in English and Mathematics at NQF Level 4/Grade 11 or equivalent, or higher qualifications. Additionally, participants had to be computer literate.

‘The CoLab training programme will give these young people an understanding of the dynamics of basic coding, which will help them to develop local apps in the future. One of the key priorities of the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan is to ensure that our residents, especially our youth, are included in the economy. We can only achieve this by supporting development initiatives in such high-growth sectors to create the skills base required for a growing economy,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, Councillor Raelene Arendse.

Some of the important outcomes of the training programme include an understanding of programming concepts, such as how basic principles of design thinking can be applied to conceptualisation.

‘The partnership with UWC will help the City to further achieve digital inclusion for more residents across communities. We are glad to be a part of such an initiative to facilitate opportunities for our youth to learn additional skills so that they can be part of the economic environment,’ said Councillor Arendse.

According to the local ward councillor, Franchesca Walker, this programme is a first for the youth of Leonsdale. She commended them for staying committed and motivated throughout the programme, adding that the project holds so much opportunity for young people and will pave the way for a brighter future for them.

‘The City supports initiatives that help open the doors to enable young people to reach their full potential. I would like to thank UWC for this partnership and congratulate the learners who successfully completed the training programme,’ added Councillor Arendse.


Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Councillor Raelene Arendse, Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 1303 or Cell: 083 739 1441, Email: (please always copy:

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