Port Elizabeth, 02 September 2019: The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) announced today that it is making inroads in the skills development capacity of youth within the Eastern Cape (EC) province.
“The Coega Development Foundation (CDF), established by the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has since its birth strived to become a people empowerment centre of excellence through education, skills development and ancillary services,” says Mzoxolo Dube, Head of Coega Development Foundation.
One of the local learners currently plowing her trade at the centre from Motherwell location Busisiwe Memane (33) has had the opportunity to acquire and sharpening her skills through a welding course offered at skills development centre. “We have learnt a great amount in this course, prior to this I was not familiar with welding and always thought it was a skill that only men could acquire” says Memane.
“The future for us in welding looks promising, as we will become qualified artisans. I want to go on after the course and become a facilitator that focuses mainly on the EC as I see opportunity in welding for woman, an individual through the welding course acquires a skill and becomes employable,” highlights Memane.
CDF exists to provide skills that are holistic in nature & that seek to drive education and skills development. The foundation prepares participants for lifelong learning, employability, entrepreneurship and the improvement of early childhood development through partnerships with like – minded institutions and individuals.
The foundation operates from the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) just outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, and is an agile organisation as it has a mobile capability to provide services anywhere in South Africa. “CDF comprises of three (3) departments namely the skills development centre, Math and Science programme and Driver training programme,” adds Dube.
“The skills centre is an initiative that has essentially been around for five (5) years, but we have been in this business for more than a decade,” highlights Dube.
With a local and geographically wide approach, CDF has seen considerable traction in construction trades, “this is due to the foundation of our start being the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ),” adds Dube.
“We have used projects within the SEZ as a training platform and as a potential employment base for our learners. This approach is beefed up through the use of mobile workshops when doing on-site training,” highlights Dube.
With the growth of the foundation, it has also seen a steady trickling in of trades, with some of the work in the SEZ being done by local artisans who have been trained through the centre.
“We have seen mechanical trades as an important opportunity, as there is a great need for electricians, installations and maintenance. The foundation has five (5) mechanical trades and has forty-seven (47) accredited learning programs that the CDF offers,“ elaborates Dube.
Attesting to the Foundation‘s impact on the youth, Mpathi Ncamzana (25) from Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape started earlier this year and is plowing his trade in welding. “This course will greatly benefit my future because it is aiding me with growth, at the end of the course I will acquire an international qualification which gives me a higher chance of being employed.”