Harambee bridging the supply-demand mismatch


Youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing South Africa and to help alleviate this, organisations such as Harambee have come into the space to improve prospects of young people looking for entry-level jobs.

According to Statistics South Africa, the country has over 50 per cent youth unemployment. Some analysts have warned that this was a ticking time bomb.

Harambee is a youth employment accelerator that has been connecting employers looking for entry-level talent to young, high-potential work-seekers who are currently locked out of the formal economy.


“Harambe has been in existence for five years now; it started as an experiment as we wanted to understand how we could solve the supply-demand mismatch that had come from researches done by several companies,” Lebo Nke, Bridging & Key Account Executive at Harambee told CNBC Africa.

“According to researches conducted, it was clear that some companies were sitting with high vacancy rates with some as high as 20 per cent, unusual for an economy with high unemployment.”

Through this challenge, Harambee set to find out where to find young people with right skills and link them to those jobs.

“Some of the aspects we look at are capabilities, access to transport and areas of residence as these impact on whether a certain individual can take up the employment or not,” added Nke.

Nke said there were some new growth industries in business outsourcing were there are not enough skills to fill such vacancies and opportunities.

She added that her organisation was also looking for innovative ways to make sure youth employability chances improved.

“Harambe is also looking at ways through partnerships with City of Johannesburg that will increase employability of youths into entry-level jobs. Some of these opportunities are in volunteering and work experiences, but more than that, we want to make sure that such opportunities add to something worthwhile.”