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Acting Mahikeng Mayor Clr Bongani Ngobeni presents 90 unemployed graduates with Environmental Practice Learnership Programme Certificates

23 June 2017 

 

The Acting Executive Mayor for Mahikeng Local Municipality, Clr Bongani Ngobeni, today handed 90 unemployed youth Further Education and Training (FETC) certificates on completion of the  Environmental Practice Learnership programme  at the Mafikeng Hotel School in  North West.

The graduation ceremony is the 5th to be led by the  Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in partnership with the Local Government Sector Education Training Authority (LGSETA) and the North West-based municipalities of Rustenburg, Ratlou, Ngaka Modiri Molema, Mamusa, Mafikeng, Kgetleng Rivier, Ditsobotla, and Bojanala.  It is primarily aimed at addressing the environmental sector skills shortage at local government level. The programme is also aimed at assisting in strengthening the skills pipeline within the environment sector   thereby delivering on the Department’s mandate of supporting organisations in the sector.

The Environmental Practice Learnership programme (FETC) (SAQA Id. No. 50309), is a 12-month course which awards graduates with a minimum of 140 credits. The course equips youth with skills needed in terms of the new local government competency framework for environmental occupations. The occupations include Waste Management, Air Quality and Natural Resource Officers.

Local government in South Africa has contributed to the achievement of a number of significant social and economic development advances since the ushering in of the new democratic municipal dispensation in December 2000.

Cllr Bongani Ngobeni, said at the graduation ceremony that local government is one of the most significant environmental employers in the public sector with an estimated 33 000 employees involved in environmental functions.

The sector has contributed immensely to the achievement of a number of significant social and economic development advances since the ushering in of the new democratic dispensation. These functions are related to waste management, water and sanitation management and public greening.

“Whilst progress has been made in respect of environmental technical skills, studies have revealed a shortage of over 1 500 environmental practitioners and technicians in South Africa,” the Cllr Ngobeni, added.

The FETC Certificate, which is equivalent to NQF LEVEL 4, is applicable to a range of fields, including   environmental science, environmental management and waste management. It providesan opportunity for the learners to celebrate their achievements and for stakeholders across the environmental sector to reflect on the current status and future needs of environmental skills in the country.

To date, very little environmental training is being offered to the lower level occupations, despite the existence of the relevant qualifications  - Environmental Practice level 1, 2, and 3.

Cllr Bongani Ngobeni, told more than 500 attendees at the Mafikeng hotel school that “there is an urgent need for reskilling and up-skilling to address competency requirements of the new local government competency framework for environmental occupations”.

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Albi Modise
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