CityPress - - Business - An­gelique Ruz­icka

A unique chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­ity, KidZa­nia Jo­han­nes­burg, will teach kids how to live in the ‘real’ world and learn how to bud­get and in­vest, writes

If your chil­dren are un­cer­tain about what ca­reer path they want to fol­low and need help in learn­ing how to man­age their money, there will soon be an ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­ity that will help them to do just that.

Al­pha In­vest­ment Group, a 100% black-owned in­vest­ment hold­ing com­pany, is set to in­vest ap­prox­i­mately R400 mil­lion to bring KidZa­nia to South Africa.

KidZa­nia is a chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tional city that will be lo­cated in Four­ways Mall and is set to be launched in De­cem­ber this year. Through KidZa­nia, chil­dren will be able to in­ter­act in a replica of an ur­ban com­mer­cial ecosys­tem – ap­prox­i­mately 8 000m2 – com­plete with streets, build­ings, a trans­port sys­tem and a fully func­tion­ing econ­omy. Through re­al­is­tic role play, chil­dren up to the age of 18 will learn about dif­fer­ent ca­reers, the in­ner work­ings of a city and the con­cept of man­ag­ing money.

“For ex­am­ple, Stan­dard Bank will teach kids around re­tail bank­ing, while Ned­bank will put to­gether an in­vest­ment cen­tre that will teach kids how to in­vest and the risks as­so­ci­ated with it. KidZos is the cur­rency within KidZa­nia. Chil­dren will also be able to earn KidZos for the type of ac­tiv­i­ties that they do within KidZa­nia. This will teach kids how to work and live in a real econ­omy,” says David Ngob­eni, founder and CEO of Al­pha In­vest­ment Group.

The launch of KidZa­nia Jo­han­nes­burg ex­pands the fran­chise’s foot­print to 20 coun­tries glob­ally. There are cur­rently 24 op­er­at­ing fa­cil­i­ties, with 12 un­der con­struc­tion. South African in­dus­try part­ners who have signed mem­o­ran­dums of un­der­stand­ing with KidZa­nia Jo­han­nes­burg in­clude Stan­dard Bank, Ned­bank, Absa, DRA, PAR, McDon­ald’s, Jacaranda FM, Nel­son Man­dela Chil­dren’s Fund, Pritt (Henkel), Clinix, Pa­pachi­nos, Mugg & Bean, Milky Lane, Mike’s Kitchen, Chip ’n Dip, Krispy Kreme, Spar, BiC, FedEx and Proudly South African, to name but a few.

Vis­i­tors will en­ter the city through an air­port that has a Boe­ing 737 mounted above it, which will be moved into the site by mid-April next year. Chil­dren will then re­ceive a board­ing pass, a city map, 50 KidZos and a GPS-equipped se­cu­rity bracelet to en­sure safety. The bracelet is paired with one given to the adult who brought them – and only that adult may leave with them.

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