Deputy minister urges youth to grab opportunities

The graduates received certificates for electrical, brick-laying, painting and plumbing courses they completed.

Deputy Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Bernice Swarts handed over 160 certificates to young people who completed various artisan trade courses during a ceremony at Belgravia High School, on Friday June 30.

The graduates were National Youth Service students from the expanded public works programme. They received certificates for electrical, brick-laying, painting and plumbing courses they completed.

The event was part of the department’s Youth Month initiatives.

There was also a ceremony to remember young people who lost their lives in the struggle against apartheid, and Ms Swarts said she had visited the family of the late Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) commander, Anton Fransch, in Bonteheuwel, the day before.

“It is clear for us that more needs to be done for families and communities in our beloved and heroic coloured community to help them to heal, find closure and get justice. It is incumbent for all the youth of Cape Town and the Cape Flats, in particular, to know that they come from a generation of fearless activists and martyrs. The only way to pay forward the sacrifice of the previous generations is to take full advantage of the empowerment and skills opportunities that our government offers to them. If you succeed and lift up your communities, then you would have honoured their memory. It is your generation that must break the cycle of poverty and violence in our communities,” she said.

Zinidene Sebastian, 24, of Lentegeur, who graduated from a course in community house building, said her family work in construction and it was about time that women took their rightful place in the industry.

Proudly showing off their certificates, are from left, Jason Jonkers, 25, from Kalksteenfontein; Jessica Thoresen, 31, from Bishop Lavis; Jodie Stevens, 19, from Belhar; and Juanita Jantjies, 24, from Bishop Lavis.
The hall was packed, as families of the graduates came to show their support.
Deputy Minister of Public Work and Infrastructure Bernice Swarts addressed the graduates.