The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has again brought its ground-breaking Driver Training Programme to an institution of higher learning, this time making in-roads at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) after a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two institutions.
NMMU is the third university, after Walter Sisulu and Fort Hare, to benefit from the programme, which has been implemented across FET colleges as well.
The training programme is the flagship of Coega’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives and was launched in 2008 to cater for CDC interns who needed driver licences to enter the job market, but has been implemented with growing intensity across 16 stations in two provinces, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
“Our focus on institutions of higher learning enables us to penetrate a market that would contribute meaningfully to the economy of the country. Graduates coming from FET Colleges and universities benefit exponentially from acquiring driving skills that translates to increasing employability levels,” said Adv. Zuko Mapoma, CDC executive manager corporate services.
“It is indeed for us a privilege to finally be here, we needed to touch base with other universities before we could come back home. By our proximity to NMMU we consider this home. ”
“The programme is meant to enhance the total capacity of graduates in becoming employable. The ability to drive is critical in one’s life and assists a graduates profile in obtaining employability,” Mapoma added.
“Unemployed people need opportunities to increase their personal profile so they can find formal employment. An example of this is of a person without formal qualification requiring work – a situation that would hinder their chances of getting employed. Possession of a driver’s license enables them to have a marketable skill for employment, even if it means being a driver.”
The programme will be implemented at the NMMU Missionvale Campus and is supported by various stakeholders within the university such as staff and the students.
“We are pleased that this programme is being implemented at the Missionvale Campus, because of the material conditions that surround the campus,” said Luzuko Ntshongwana, NMMU Student Representative Council President.
“We would like to see NSFAS students being amongst the first beneficiaries of this programme. We are pleased with this initiative, which affirms the slogan of SASCO which says, ‘one driver’s license, one student!’”
In the financial year 2013/14 the CDC managed to achieve its highest pass rate with over 900 people obtaining their drivers licenses, an achievement surpassing CDC’s set target of 700 by 128%.
“The programme seeks to affirm and set out what the NMMU also encourages our students to achieve at university. We seek to diversify skills through co-curricular activities with the purpose of a holistic student,” said Dr. Sibongile Muthwa, NMMU Deputy Vice Chancellor Institutional Support.
“It encourages us that this programme seeks to shorten employment queues and makes traction with equalization of demographics within society.”
“We would like to thank CDC for enabling this partnership and we would like to encourage state departments like the Department of Road and Transport to partner with CDC and the NMMU to expand this programme throughout the country,” added Muthwa.
The Coega CSI programme seeks to support programmes that engender empowerment and development as well as contributing towards social transformation.
“Our CSI programmes continue to be emphatic to the needs of communities henceforth our role in this initiative. Obtaining skills that are likely to assist in the economy of the country is what we continuously seek to do,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing and communications.
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