Mkhize heaps praise on local train repair and maintenance firm

2012-02-17 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Zweli Mkhize gave a local engineering compangy Commuter Transport Engineering (CTE) a thumbs up, commending it for its sterling work as the sole train repairs and maintenance company in the province.

Mkhize showered the company, based at Mason’s Mill in the greater Edendale area, with praise during his visit there yesterday.

The premier said the provincial government wanted to forge a partnership with the company to make sure that KwaZulu-Natal becomes a hub for refurbishing trains.

CTE also manufactures trains.

Mkhize said this was a way of upgrading infrastructure, especially railways, in line with the call made by President Jacob Zuma in his state of the nation address last week.

“This is the industry that will be helping the province in job creation, economic development and refurbishment of infrastructure. We would like to partner with CTE to change the lives of the people of this province,” said Mkhize.

CTE managing director Palello Lebaka said the company provides young people with the necessary qualifications and those who want to learn an opportunity to get experience. He said CTE offers a variety of training opportunities in repair and maintenance.

“Most companies in this industry want workers who have experience. If they are coming straight from school they don’t have it so we decided to give them that experience in this company.

“We take students from FET [Further Education and Training Colleges] and some from the streets. We have 95 employees and we will be increasing the number by 35 by April,” he said.

CTE also offers work to sub-contractors.

One of the students that benefited without any work experience is Nokwanda Majozi from Estcourt. Majozi graduated with a mechanical engineering diploma from the Durban University of Technology.

“I started here in November 2010 with no experience, but today I am proud because they gave me a chance,” she said.

“In the group that I am working with some have more experience in the field and some do not.”

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