Graduated staffers are Cape Town’s ‘greatest assets’
CITY employees are doing it for themselves, overcoming major hurdles to notch up degrees, diplomas and certificates thanks to R94 million invested over the past four financial years to upskill staffers.
“Our employees are our greatest assets, and it is important that we continue to invest in our staff so that we have the right people with the required skills and competencies to meet the city’s service delivery demands,” Xanthea Limberg, the city’s mayoral committee member for corporate services and compliance said.The group of 161 graduates for 2016 were awarded 38 certificates and higher certificates, 57 national diplomas, 59 degrees, four honours degrees and two masters degrees.
Singled out for special mention were Koena Nkoko, who grew up in Ga-Seema in Polokwane, and has now completed a Masters Degree in Business Administration with five distinctions, and Lameez Majiet, who at 28 is one of the youngest people to complete her Masters in Business Administration.
Nkoko recalled a time when his mother couldn’t even give him money for school lunch. But she did give him a one-off loan of R30 to start an informal business selling sweets at school, which he ran until Grade 12.
“I did not see my lack of money or having to walk long distances, at times in the rain, to and from school as a barrier to my success. If anything, these challenges made me more determined to soldier on in my endeavour to be the best I could be despite the odds being against me,” he said, adding that he knew from an early age that education was his only way out of his socio-economic struggle.
The MBA is his second masters degree, in addition to a Masters Degree in Public Health and a number of postgraduate diplomas, diplomas and other certificated courses.
Koena is today a sub-district manager of Health Services in the City Health Directorate.
Majiet spent most of her childhood in Portlands, Mitchells Plain and Heideveld. University, for her, was nothing more than a distant dream.
Today this Information Services and Technology department staffer has, at just 28, earned her Masters Degree in Business Administration.
And she’s not finished yet, with plans to pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration.
“My advice to young people is that they need to go out and look for opportunities, especially educational opportunities. Each one of us needs to take responsibility and do something positive with our lives. Being able to make a success of our lives is the best gift we can give to our parents and grandparents who fought for us to be free and to get a quality education,” she said.
Limberg said the pair’s focus and will to succeed was inspirational, and urged other youngsters to seek out opportunities.
“The opportunities out there are plenty – you just need to find them and pursue what is of interest to you,” she said.
Trevor Manuel and Lameez Majiet.
Koena Nkoko completed his Master’s Degree in Business Administration with five distinctions.