The Thaba Chweu Local Municipality recently celebrated the graduation of 20 learners from the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). These learners successfully completed their landscaping training and received certificates of competence. The Executive Mayor of Thaba Chweu Local Municipality, Honourable Councillor M.F. Nkadimeng, urged the graduates to use their newly acquired skills to establish businesses and create employment opportunities for others in their communities.
Maintaining Parks and Cemeteries
As part of their responsibilities, the graduates will maintain and beautify parks and cemeteries within the municipality. During the graduation ceremony, Mayor Nkadimeng expressed her pride in the participants and encouraged them to envision themselves as business owners.
Economic Growth and Local Tourism
Mayor Nkadimeng highlighted the potential for graduates to establish businesses and collaborate with both state and private entities on cleaning projects. This collaboration would contribute to their local communities’ economic growth. In addition, the mayor emphasized the positive impact of the graduates’ work on local tourism, as they contribute to the cleanliness and upkeep of municipal facilities such as parks and cemeteries.
Accredited Training Programme
The training, accredited by the Agriculture Sector Education and Training Authority at NQF Level 3, was conducted by JNV Landscaping and Training. Participants went through theoretical, practical, and on-the-job training, covering a wide range of modules, including grass mowing, tree pruning, and alien invader plant control.
The Department of Higher Education and Training financially supported the training through the National Skills Fund. Learners also received a daily allowance of R102 to cover food and transportation costs, in addition to their monthly stipend from the municipality.
Ms. Fela Mashaba, Manager for Training at the Mbombela Regional Office of DPWI, expressed gratitude to the municipality for partnering with the Department to implement the project. The Acting Director for Corporate Affairs at the Municipality, Ms. Magagula, encouraged the graduates to further their studies and become experts in their field.
Commitment to Continued Training
Mr. Isaac Mothapo, Manager for EPWP Environmental and Culture Sector, welcomed the graduates into the EPWP family and urged them to be good ambassadors of the program. Mr. Vhutshilo Madzunye, Managing Director for JNV Landscaping and Training, praised the learners for their excellent performance during the training and expressed the company’s commitment to working with both DPWI and the municipality to train more EPWP learners in the future.
Positive Impact on Communities
The graduates expressed gratitude to the municipality, DPWI, and JNV Landscaping and Training for providing them with valuable skills and work opportunities. Some participants have already started using their wages from the program to purchase landscaping equipment. This has paved the way for the establishment of small landscaping businesses and the creation of additional employment opportunities within their communities. Such programs can have a positive impact on both individuals and their communities, highlighting the importance of continued investment in skills development and training.