Good luck matrics
IN JUST a few days thousands of matric pupils in Kimberley and the Northern Cape will sit down to write what they believe is the most important exams of their lives.
By now they have been bombarded with advice ranging from study tips to concentration-boosting supplements. The pressure on these youngsters is great. With unemployment so high, parents add to this pressure, staking their hopes on that senior certificate opening doors to jobs or further study. It’s not surprising then that suicide rates are so high with up to 20% of high school pupils having tried to take their own lives.
Many believe that this little piece of paper is the only way out of unemployment and poverty, and brings with it the promise of a decent-paying job and a middle-class life.
I can tell you now, that it isn’t. This is really just the start of a long road ahead of you, our matrics of 2018.
Be proud of yourself, you have done well to get to matric. You went to school and made it this far – less than half of the children who enrol in Grade 1 make it to Grade 12 and only 28% of people aged 20 or older have completed high school. So, well done to you for getting this far.
But your matric certificate isn’t the be all and end all.
A matric certificate doesn’t guarantee you a job. In South African one-third of the six million people unemployed have their matric.
Your matric is just a starting block – yes it’s an important one, but the real test isn’t this one, it’s when you start your first job or enrol for your degree. You still have to go out there, work harder than ever before and prove your worth.
While this piece of paper might get you into the doors of higher education, the next hurdle is just around the corner. Less than half of university students end up with degrees.
When you go for your first job interview or sit for your university or college exams, you will think back to these exams and realise that these aren’t the most important or the most difficult challenges that you will face.
To be educated doesn’t mean just having book knowledge, it’s what you do with that knowledge, use it to make a better world, not only for yourself but for everyone around you and for those who come after you.
No one will remember you for passing matric, they will remember the legacy you leave behind.
While your national senior certificate doesn’t guarantee success, hopefully it has taught you that you can do anything when you put in the effort.
But remember that your future success is not dependent on the exams you are about to take, it’s dependent on you.
Good luck matrics of 2019. THE LONGEST production train in the world recently took off from Sishen in the Northern Cape.
Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has added another feather to its cap after successfully running a 375-wagon manganese train over a distance of 861 kilometres - making it the longest production train in the world.
The feat took place last month when the four-kilometre long train took off from Sishen in the Northern Cape to Saldanha in the Western Cape.
The 375-wagon train is the highest number of wagons fitted on a train in the world, breaking TFR’s own record 342-wagon iron ore train that is currently operational on the same Transnet corridor.
Lloyd Tobias, TFR chief operating officer, said the long-haul operation was in line with TFR’s business objective of migrating traffic from road to rail.
TFR said the project will maximise the manganese volumes railed between mines in Hotazel via Sishen to Saldanha.
This will be achieved by optimising the use of existing assets, locomotives and wagons, within the installed infrastructure constraints, doing more with what is currently available.
General manager for the Iron Ore and Manganese Business Unit, Russell Baatjies, said that there was an option of increasing manganese’s rail capacity to respond to customer demand by upgrading the existing railway feeder lines and build new rolling stock.
“That option would have cost us significant capital. The project team was challenged to explore the use of technology through Industry 4.0 solutions, to achieve the same objective at minimum cost. Applying distributed power technology to increase the train length to 375 wagons will reduce capital requirements by over 90% of the initial estimate,” he said.
Following the successful execution of the test train, Transnet will embark on a journey to operationalise the four-kilometre long train, which is meant to meet the needs of manganese customers within the Hotazel area and the emerging miners. This phase will include further customer engagements and official launch of the train.
Brian Monakali, TFR general manager, who is also the chairman of the International Heavy Haul Association, said: “This is another breakthrough for the heavy haul railway industry. Rio Tinto, Australia, recently started with the implementation of driverless trains in their iron ore railway system. Transnet has now successfully tested a 375-wagon train, soon to be operationalised. The collaboration on technical research and sharing of best practice by heavy haul operations worldwide will surely keep pushing the operations, safety and rail capacity envelope to new levels through application of breakthrough technology”.
“Once in operation, the 375-wagon manganese train will be the production train with the highest number of wagons in the world, and the longest manganese train in the world with the highest volumes carried per train. These longer trains represent an opportunity to increase volumes railed and drive the strategic imperative of moving bulk traffic back to rail,” TFR said.
– Norma Wildenboer