Young people not taking up careers needed to address South Africa’s water crisis

NONKULULEKO NJILO

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the “dire need” for new skills and innovative ideas from young people in the water and sanitation sector.

This is according to the department of water & sanitation (DWS), which is calling on matriculants and prospective first-year students to consider careers in the sector to help drive and improve service delivery imperatives.

“The pandemic we are currently facing as the global community has highlighted that as government, there is still a lot of work we still need to do in order to improve the livelihoods of our citizens. Topping the list is to provide the most basic human need, which is water,” said spokesperson Sputnik Ratau.

He said the bursary and internship opportunities offered by the department in collaboration with several institutions of higher learning aimed to bridge the critical skills gaps within the water sector, which would ultimately enhance sustainable water supply in the country.

“It is for this reason that we are calling out to matriculants and first-year university students to consider careers in our sector. The water and sanitation sector is in dire need of new skills with innovative ideas to help drive and improve service delivery imperatives,” said Ratau.

The department said there had been “limitless opportunities” within the water sector, these ranged from engineering and scientific disciplines such as civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, chemistry, hydrology and environmental management and microbiology among others.

Ratau, however, said many of these remained widely unexplored despite the departments’ efforts to provide bursaries, workplace exposure and additional training until they are ready to register as professionals.

“Our bursaries are comprehensive. They cover full tuition fees, accommodation and food as per university guidance, books and stationery allowance and a monthly stipend,” said Ratau.

Interested applicants were encouraged to contact the department or alternatively visit its website for the 2022 application process, which is to be advertised between May and August.

– DispatchLIVE

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