Telkom will invest R250 million over the next three years in a technology fund focussed on coding training for young people, said CEO Sipho Maseko.
Maseko said they think of programming as a future 12th official language of South Africa. One in which fluency will be essential.
“How do we make sure that everyone between the ages of 17 and 25 has the opportunity to learn how to code?” said Maseko.
The initiative is only the beginning, and a focus on teenagers is also being investigated.
“In a world of the Internet of Things… where everything is connected, if you don’t understand and speak that language [of coding], you will really be left behind.”
Earlier this year, Telkom subsidiary BCX launched a R60-million partnership with WeThinkCode – a programme to educate software engineers.
The funds will be used to expand WeThinkCode’s Johannesburg office and open a new campus in Cape Town.
WeThinkCode said it will have more than doubled the number of entry-level coders in South Africa by the end of 2018, thanks to this investment.