Graduates get a head start with development project

2017-02-23 06:00
Wanda Fikizolo, Zanele Nkomana and Wendy Nqwede from Khayelitsha.

Wanda Fikizolo, Zanele Nkomana and Wendy Nqwede from Khayelitsha.

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The Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) welcomed 10 Civil Engineering graduates into its 2017 Professional Development Programme (PDP).

As recipients of the DTPW Masakh’iSizwe Bursary Programme, they are expected to gain practical experience as candidate engineers, technologists and technicians at private companies.

“This is a key part of the department’s ongoing efforts to address the shortage of transport, built environment and engineering professionals in the Western Cape,” said Byron la Hoe the department’s communication officer.

La Hoe said although they have their tertiary qualifications, graduates can only be registered as professionals once they meet the requirements of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).

The PDP provides four years of training, mentoring, support, on-the-job-exposure and professional supervision designed to enable graduates to apply for ECSA registration.

“Their development and progress will be closely monitored and, where necessary, the package of support will be adjusted to meet specific needs,” he said.

Wanda Fikizolo (23) from Khayelitsha studied BTech: Transportation Engineering degree at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

“To be part of this development programme is an amazing feeling. I look forward to learning from experienced engineers in the field, and to add value to the sector. It is my goal to become a registered professional,” she said.

Since its inception in 2010, DTPW has successfully trained and mentored 11 graduates (ten professional engineers and one professional engineering technician). Of these, eight have been employed permanently in the Road Network Management branch.

The PDP participants can expect to be deployed on DTPW road infrastructure projects, given exposure to road traffic design systems, and receive on-site supervision. In the process they will make a valuable contribution to maintaining and improving the road network, a key enabler of social and economic development in the province.

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