Department Excells In Women And Youth Empowerment Simultaneously Training Professional Artisans

The Department of Roads and Public Works takes the national directive of Youth Development very seriously and made great strides in training qualified artisans in the Northern Cape Province. Government’s quest of youth development (at the back drop of the high youth unemployment rate) continues with all vigor. The period of 2014 to 2024 has been declared the ‘Decade of the Artisan’ by the Minister of Higher Education. For this duration developing skills and training in the artisan sector has been prioritised.
The department initiated the Phakamile Mabija Apprenticeship Programme in honour of the late anti-apartheid activist and fallen hero Phakamile Mabija. On 17 October 2017 the department received the Public Sector Trainers' Forum (PSTF) Achievers Excellence Award for Excellence in Youth Development Training.
The Department commenced the training of the fourth intake of Phakamile Mabija Artisanship Learners during January 2018. Unique to this group is that they are 100% female. A total of 25 learners coming from all five Districts are being trained in various trades. Five learners are from the Namakwa District, four learners are from the Z.F Mgcawu District, five learners are from the Frances Baard District, two learners are from the Pixley Ka Seme District and nine learners are from the John Taolo Gaetsewe District. Two of the learners are enrolled in Boilermaking, two in Millwright, nine in Electrical, six in Diesel Mechanics and six in Fitter and Turning.
All of these female learners come from historically disadvantaged communities. Some of them reside in the poverty stricken villages such as Baltharos, Camden, Maipeng, Kagung Village, and Magojaneng Villages in Kuruman; Garies and Okiep in Namaqua to name but a few. This programe has in the past proven to provide sustainable employment and a brighter future to youth coming from low socio-economic backgrounds. This is another of government’s initiative to alleviate the triple burden of poverty, inequality and unemployment and to bring about transformation.
To date the success in the Phakamile Mabija Apprenticeship Programme can be highlighted as follows: Since inception a total of 63 youth participated and 59 youth successfully completed the programme - 92 % of which 41% is women.
•    For the first intake 17 artisans graduated during July 2012.
•    For the second intake 25 artisans graduated during November 2016.
•    For this third intake 16 artisans graduated during November 2017.

Since 2013 Phakamile Mabija Artisanship Programme formed partnerships with the four mining houses, namely: Sishen Mine, Kimberley Mine, Afrisam and Blackrock Mine and De Beers Technical Training Campus in Kimberley. 

Upon the successful completion of their trade test the learners will receive a national and international accredited Red Seal certificate issued in accordance with the standards recognized by the National Skills Authority, issued under Section 26 (D)(4) of the Skills Development Act of 1998. Due to the huge demand for qualified artisans, these learners are easily absorbed in the formal labour market especially at the mining houses in the province. The department aims to enroll disabled learners in the future.