A year ago, 26-year-old Keamogetse Modungwa from Mahikeng, North West, was grappling with the fear of being an unemployed graduate – a harsh reality for many young people in South Africa. The youth often dream of leaving small towns to look for opportunities in the big cities – something that is becoming more and more challenging against a backdrop of a national youth unemployment rate of 46,5%.
Just one module shy from graduating with a BCom Financial Accountancy degree from the North-West University, Keamogetse applied for a job at her local Shoprite.
“Many young graduates in Mahikeng apply for unskilled as well as skilled positions. These may not be their dream jobs, but they can put food on the table. Data, printing and transport needed for job hunting also costs money that families in poorer areas don’t have. So, I was very happy when Shoprite hired me last year because I didn’t have to depend on my mom for everything.”
- Keamogetse Modungwa, former Shoprite cashier
She started her new role as a cashier at Shoprite Mmabatho in August 2022, embracing it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
“I never took it for granted. I grew up shopping at this store and enjoyed interacting with the customers who are also members of my community,” she says. However, she never let go of her bigger ambitions, and exhibited a drive and passion that was soon rewarded.
The store’s admin manager, Windy Dlamini noticed her dedication and, following Keamogetse’s successful completion of her degree in May this year, approached the divisional office for advancement consideration.
“I love to encourage my colleagues to apply for the opportunities available at Shoprite. I understand that working at a store might not be seen as a cool thing for young people, but Shoprite is full of opportunities. Kea’s passion for retail was evident right from the beginning.”
- Windy Dlamini, Shoprite Mmabatho admin manager
In July this year, after an interview process, Keamogetse was offered a traineeship at the Shoprite Group’s Bloemfontein divisional office. As a trainee, she will be mentored by industry experts, chartered accountants and financial managers as she gains exposure to the inner workings of the retail business – from stores to distribution centres, and the various departments that keep Africa’s largest retailer running.
“I cannot believe that I am here, surrounded by these incredible people who are happy to teach me about the business and support me in taking my career forward,” says Keamogetse.
It's very rewarding to see young people, especially from my hometown, make it big out there and I know Kea is going to do amazing things," adds Windy.
The Shoprite Group invested a total of R645 million into skills development and training in the 2023 financial year. This includes employee training and development, youth development programmes such as bursaries and specialist retail training, traineeships, internships, apprenticeships and much more. In the past financial year, the Group created over 8 000 new jobs, increasing its total workforce to 154 000.