Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

MultiChoice says it has invested R50m to create 500 new jobs for young people.

At a time when employment numbers are set to fall further, the company is using about R7bn in cash to prop up employment in SA.

On Wednesday, MultiChoice said it had created the employment programme through a partnership with the Youth Employment Service (YES), which has resulted in 400 jobs and another 100 sports coaching learnerships through its Let’s Play initiative.

“The two partnerships equate to a total investment of R50m,” the DStv operator said.

YES is a business-led collaboration with the government to create work opportunities for unemployed black South Africans between the ages of 18 and 35 years.

By the end of 2019, about 60% of SA’s employable youth were without jobs and, within an economy that was experiencing slow to no growth, prospects were limited — an issue that has since been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis.  

The pandemic has also brought mixed fortunes to the former-Naspers-owned company.

On the one hand, people staying at home means more people watching video content, which is good for DStv. But on the other, the lockdown has meant a halt in film and television productions, as well as sport — a large drawcard for the DStv service.

The group had committed R80m towards salaries and wages for cast, crew and creatives affected by the nationwide lockdown, for the months of March and April.

The company is in a good place financially to weather the storm, having recorded about R6.9bn in cash at the half-year, which is likely to be used to fund all of these initiatives.

In a statement, Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO of YES, said: “This Covid-19-battered economy is seeing unprecedented job losses and economic fallout, and the youth are once again going to bear the brunt of this catastrophe. We cannot afford to leave another generation behind.”

“MultiChoice is pioneering the behaviours we need to see all companies display in the future, as it embraces true transformation,” she said.

gavazam@businesslive.co.za

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