Minister Simmers honours the Masakh’iSizwe bursars and Apprentice graduates

Minister Simmers honours the Masakh’iSizwe bursars and Apprentice graduates

Minister Simmers honours the Masakh’iSizwe bursars and Apprentice graduates

Minister Simmers honours the Masakh’iSizwe bursars and Apprentice graduates

Minister Simmers honors the Masakh’Isizwe bursars and Apprentice programme graduates

On Saturday 27 April, the Western Cape Minister of Infrastructure Tertuis Simmers awarded 50 new Masakh’iSizwe(MiS) Bursars for the 2024 academic year and honoured 32 learners who have completed their 3 year Apprenticeship programme.

The event honoured individuals who have been awarded a full-time MiS bursary by the Western Cape Department of Infrastructure to pursue studies in the transport, engineering, built environment, and other infrastructure disciplines. Beneficiaries who completed their trade test in electrical and welding in the 3-year Apprenticeship programme were awarded their certificates.

The Masakh’iSizwe Bursary programme offers bursaries for full-time studies towards a degree or diploma in the transport, engineering, and infrastructure disciplines. This is part of the department’s strategy to mitigate the skills scarcity in the infrastructure sector. It covers various expenses such as tuition fees, support programmes to ensure academic performance remains on track, accommodation, meals, and/or transportation. This comprehensive support allows students to focus on their studies without financial obstacles.

Present on the day and addressing the incumbent bursars was Thulisile Notshe a 2nd year Civil Engineering student at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Thulisile shared her story and said, “I am grateful to the Western Cape Government for awarding me the Masakh’iSizwe bursary. The programme has completely transformed my life as they’ve not only helped me with the payment of tuition but also with essential resources, such as study material tutor sessions. This has allowed me to solely focus on my academic work without the worries of financial burdens. Thus, I was able to obtain an 80% average mark in my first year.”

The ceremony also honored 32 learners who completed the 3-year Apprenticeship programme with a qualification in an artisan trade. The learners completed and passed their trade test and are now red seal certified within their Artisan Trades.

The department’s Apprenticeship programme was established in 2016 and provides learners with an opportunity to obtain a trade test and an artisan certificate, certified by the Quality Council for Trade Occupations (QCTO).

The Department provides support by facilitating the programme, providing accredited electrical and welding training, and placing learners with host employers for experiential learning opportunities. The department funds both the theoretical training and experiential training for the learners, as well as payment of a stipend.

Provincial Minister of Infrastructure Tertuis Simmers described the department’s programmes as one of many ways in which the Western Cape Government is creating opportunities for young people to prosper in the future. “Through these, we are opening doors to more opportunities for young people who are want to use education and training as their weapon to carve a better future for their families and communities. The Masakh’iSizwe bursary has helped change the lives of many young people and in the past, some of our past bursars, upon graduation bought homes for their parents.”

“As the Western Cape Government, we are making advances in the energy resilience and mitigation programmes, and therefore with that comes opportunities for skilled artisans to lead this province as we build for the future. Our Apprenticeship programme has achieved an 86% pass rate and many of these learners have already obtained permanent employment from the private sector partners, confirming the quality of this programme” added Minister Simmers.

The closing date for applications for the 2025 Masakh’Isizwe Bursary Programme is 31 August 2024.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic Of South Africa: Western Cape Provincial Government.