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South Africa: Empowering the Nation through its Youth
Source: Issued by: Free State Tourism, Economic Development and Environmental Affairs
Source Date: Thursday, August 28, 2014
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Aug 28, 2014

The learnership programmes also form part of departmental commitment towards the Free State Provincial Growth and Development Strategy. With their implementation, challenge of youth unemployment will be addressed as young people will be provided with skills to better their chances of employment, therefore eradicating poverty.
The learners started the Nature Conservation Resource Management Terrestrial course with theoretical training at the South African Wildlife College (SAWC) in Mpumalanga for a period of 5 months and continued with workplace experiential training at Golden Gate National Highlands Park (GGNHP) for another 5 months.
When congratulating the graduates, MEC Mosebenzi Zwane urged them to use the knowledge they have received to attract more tourists to the Free State. He went further to indicate that the Free State is doing well in terms of attracting travellers to the province hence the increase of the international arrivals from 6.5% to 9.6%, moving Free State from position number 8 to 5 out of 9 provinces. “Government has given you tools to uplift your families and communities and it is up to you how you use what you have learned to be helpful to others”, explained MEC Zwane. He strongly discouraged arrogance amongst youth and encouraged them to use the knowledge gained positively.
Sabata Moji, talking on behalf of the learners said that they are very grateful for the opportunity given to them by government, especially because they are the first group in the Free State to benefit from this programme. He went further to say that today they have this qualification which they did not pay a cent for, instead we were getting paid. He further explained that to have qualifications in the field of conservation will open doors for them as young people and also change the perception that black people are not into conservation. He urged his fellow graduates to not stop here but to be hungry for knowledge and continue to further their studies as education will only change their lives for better.
The proceedings ended on a very positive note when Sipho Claasen from CATHSSETA made an undertaking to talk to the organisation to look at the possibility of finding employment or internship for the recently graduated learners.
For more information please contact:
Elsie Ntsane
E-mail: ntsane@detea.fs.gov.za
Festy Nyamate
Tel: 051 400 9550/48
E-mail: nyamatef@detea.fs.gov.za
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