Education is Power

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Eastern Cape Public Works Youth Forum hosted a Career Exhibition event at the Community Church in Bhisho to equip young people with relevant information in order to make informed career choices and inform them about opportunities available within the department and other departments.

Relevant stakeholders who were part of the program included the Departments of Environmental Affairs & Tourism, Rural Development & Agrarian Reforms(DRDAR), Office of the Premier(OTP), National Youth Development Agency(NYDA), Council for the Built Environment (CBE), Lovedale College, Walter Sisulu University(WSU), Nelson Mandela University(NMU), University of Stellenbosch , Cape Peninsula University of Technology(UCT) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) who had exhibition stalls and presented all available opportunities to prospective students.

“This gathering is to expose students on what opportunities the departments have and in return students will bring change and innovative ways of doing things to the department and grown the economy of South Africa” said Mbuyiseli Mpengu.

Sandile Booi from UJ encouraged students especially females to take part in the Built Environmental studies as it is dominated mostly by white people who are at 74% and the current statistics for black students is 24%.

Booi also emphasised to students that they must do pure Mathematics and Physical Science as are the main requirements for the Construction Sector.

Zonke Mayekiso from NYDA unpacked bursary opportunities that are available within the Youth Development Agency: the Mahlangu bursary opportunities for post graduates and Tusano fund. She encouraged the youth to study very hard so that they can be able to know themselves better and utilise their full potential.

Nandipha Ndundane-Toyota from DRDAR spoke about various institutions that offer agricultural studies in the Eastern Cape: Tsolo Agricultural College, Fort Cox College and a partnership with Fort Hare University. She encouraged youth to pursue studies that will give them better opportunities in life; she made an example of herself that she is now an animal doctor, a Veterinarian.

Nzwane Makawula from Office of the Premier shared the mandate with regards to bursaries that OTP no longer offered Bursaries but is making sure that all departments in the province offer bursaries accordingly.

Makawula discouraged students from incurring debt while they are unemployed. Out of the 30% Black youth employed more than 50% are indebted. He encouraged the students to study at their level best so that can stand a chance to be awarded bursaries offered by the OTP: The Premiers top achievers bursary he also emphasised on leaners to look for other funders like Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA).  

A motivational talk was from the Chief Quantity Surveyor, Luvuyo Nkwentsha. “I encourage you not give up in life, in my high school experience I was never a brilliant learner but a hard worker. I want you today to be a better person my father encouraged me when I failed Grade 11”.

He also talked about the importance of principles in life that someone can consider into their destination. He made an example of Jet fuel, by saying “Youth should use their background as jet fuel to push themselves in higher level”.

Written by: Akhona Zondeka & Siyanda Nogantshi
Picture: Z Mankazana