The Coega Development Corporation’s (CDC) flagship corporate social investment (CSI) driver training programme was launched for the first time on 16 April 2014 in KwaZulu-Natal at the Umfolozi FET College (Esikhawini Campus-Empangeni) as the two organisations put pen to paper on a memorandum of understanding.
Coega also handed over a state-of-the-art driver simulator to the FET College – a stationary machine designed for off-road beneficiary training.
The launch marks the introduction of the CDC programme in KwaZulu-Natal after it has been successfully operational in the Eastern Cape since 2008 where it has benefitted thousands of people.
In the Eastern Cape, the programme has been implemented at 14 higher education institutions – both universities and further education and training (FET) colleges – with the expressed aim of benefiting the institutions’ students by providing them with training and support so they can achieve a learners, and later, a driver’s licence.
A high-tech driver simulator was handed over to the FET College so students, general youth and the unemployed in the eSikhawini area can benefit from off-road training. CDC’s investment in the simulation-based training is based on the benefits of the programme, which include significant cost savings, improved safety, more effective use of controls, and a much wider range of exposure to hazardous driving conditions – all from the safety of a simulator.
“Many potential learners have never sat behind a steering wheel, let alone have any driving experience. It is essential that these individuals spend time on simulators to gain confidence before they drive on a public road,” said Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing and communications.
The move comes as Coega solidifies its presence in the KZN region.
“Today’s launch is particularly important to us as it affirms CDC’s progress in KZN and the impact the driver programme will have in up-skilling the youth of eSikhawini,” said Adv. Zuko Mapoma, CDC executive manager.
“The impact we want to have on society is central to the work we are doing and this programme seeks to assist in up-skilling its beneficiaries. We certainly hope the hordes of students take advantage of the opportunity to gain free training and that the experience changes their lives for the better.”
The driver training programme dates back to 2008 when the CDC decided to enhance the employability of their interns by providing them with an opportunity to obtain their drivers licenses.
“Now that we have partnered with Coega, our students will become easily employable and enter the workplace with driver’s licenses. Nowadays it is essential to have a driver’s license as it is required by most employers,” said Samuel Zungu, Campus Principal Umfolozi FET College.
“We commend Coega for partnering and noting us as the most progressive college in KwaZulu-Natal, this clearly indicates that Umfolozi College is making headway in progressively stimulating our students’ progress in life.”
Today’s launch marks the start of various activities to be undertaken by Coega KZN in the next couple of weeks. The organisation will also launch the programme at the Elangeni FET College (Mpumalanga Campus-Hammarsdale) today [SUBS: Thursday, 17 April 2014.].
“The CDC consistently continues to strive in our efforts with our corporate social investment programmes. The organisation’s strategic objective to provide sustainable CSI initiatives that will have immediate impact in and around the communities in which the CDC operates in,” said Vilakazi.
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