Multi-million rand training centre ready to roll

2016-01-27 06:00
Photo: Makhosandile Zulu Chairperson of the Sibaya Community Trust and director of the Sibaya Casino Tristian Kaatze, Dr. Albertina Luthuli, Sibaya Community Trust and Trustee member Vivian Reddy and KwaDukuza Mayor Ricardo Mthembu at the sod-turning ceremony.

Photo: Makhosandile Zulu Chairperson of the Sibaya Community Trust and director of the Sibaya Casino Tristian Kaatze, Dr. Albertina Luthuli, Sibaya Community Trust and Trustee member Vivian Reddy and KwaDukuza Mayor Ricardo Mthembu at the sod-turning ceremony.

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KWADUKUZA Mayor Ricardo Mthembu, Sibaya Community Trust and trustee Vivian Reddy and the eldest daughter of the first African Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Albertina Luthuli officiated the sod turning ceremony of the Chief Albert Luthuli Skills Development and Training Centre last Thursday.

The centre is to be constructed in KwaDukuza to the value of more than R7 million and will have space for at least 3 000 trainees.

Named after the South African teacher, activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and politician, Chief Albert Luthuli, the project will provide technical training for unemployed youth with courses in welding, bricklaying, electrical work and plumbing.

The Sibaya Community Trust in partnership with the KwaDukuza Municipality saw the need for such a facility due to a lack of properly trained skilled workers and a shortage of skilled labour in senior management, engineering, accounting and technical occupations – specialised technicians and artisans – and in the agricultural sector.

This shortage poses a threat of limiting the country’s long term economic growth and the trust decided to partner with the municipality in such an initiative so as to train and up-skill the unemployed – especially youth – so they can have decent paying jobs.

Chairperson of the Sibaya Community Trust and director of the Sibaya Casino, Tristan Kaatze said the trust decided on funding such an initiative because there is a need to assist in developing the KwaDukuza community.

“It is very important for us to try and find ways to uplift the communities which our employees come from,” he said.

He said Sibaya would continue to invest significantly in the KwaDukuza area.

This investment comes after the trust has already pledged 10 million to adopt schools in the iLembe District that performed poorly in last year’s matric results.

Reddy said the funds that would be injected into the district’s schools will assist with providing weekend classes and extra tutors, among other things. He said the trust also supports Child Welfare SA-KwaDukuza.

Reddy said the plan for a skills development and training centre was announced last year, but due to several delays it had to be put on hold until those were sorted out. He said KwaDukuza was chosen because the trust believes the municipality is well managed and evidence of this is that it has won awards.

“We want to train electricians, brick layers, plumbers and welders. We want to teach people about business skills,” he said.

He said it would cost three to R4 million per year to run the centre.

Mthembu said the centre is the first of its kind considering its annual enrollment of 3 000 trainees and its offer for job linkages in an attempt to secure employment for these trainees.

“In a hard-hit area like ours, where unemployment is at its height, this project is greatly welcome. Not only will it provide education and skills, but it will take our youth out of the scourge of unemployment and give them hope. And this is exactly what KwaDukuza needs,” said the mayor.

He said this would boost the local economy and facilitate future development.

Mthembu said he is pleased that private institutions are heeding the call made by the president – by participating in the upliftment of disadvantaged groups through education and skills development.

“We are very happy that private institutions are now starting to recognise the plight that we are facing as government and the previously disadvantaged people in our country. There is indeed a skills shortage challenge that we are facing as a country at various levels. We commend people like Mr. Vivian Reddy who through their philanthropic work, have given a shot in the arm to our people. This re-affirms the call made by the president and we are calling on more institutions to participate and help build our country,” he said.

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