The department of public works (DPW) Amathole regional office inducted unemployed young people into the accelerated professional and trade competency development programme (APTCoD) recently. Abongile Sitishi, 28, who hails from Litha Township near King William’s Town, is one of the learners whose lives have been changed following her successful recruitment into the programme . Sitishi is a mother to a nine year- old girl and lives with her unemployed mother and four siblings.
She passed grade 11 in 2008 at Zanempucuko Secondary High School and joined the APTCoD programme after she learnt about it during a career exhibition at John Knox College, where she passed her level 4 brick-laying certificate in 2016.
She said her life changed for the better after she passed her plumbing trade test in March 2019. “This opportunity has taught me a lot and I believe it will propel me to greater heights. My dream is to start my own plumbing company where I will employ the youth in my community.”
Sitishi said her family no longer depends on their mother’s pension grant and is happy she will now be able to contribute financially at home. Her mother, Nosithile, 63, described Sitishi as a well mannered
girl who is always up for a challenge. She said she was very grateful that her daughter secured this opportunity.
“I have never had problems with her as she is a very quiet girl who helps me with everything and now she can even help me financially. I recently complained about a leaking tap and she managed to fix it herself. That was amazing,” explained Nosithile.
APTCoD mentor and electrical artisan Lindile Sangotsha said mentoring learners starts with evaluating the level of theory each one possess. The students are then taken through important workshop and site safety measures.
“It is important to instil safety measures as we often work in challenging environments. We practically train them according to their specific trade before dispatching learners to various sites,” Sangotsha explained.