Port Elizabeth – The excitement of two of the four newly-appointed interns at the Nelson Mandela Bay mayor’s office is palpable, as they imagine how the opportunity to enhance their skills will brighten their future.
“Getting into a programme like this: you find hope and can become skilled – which can lead to permanent employment, as you have a tangible record of work that was done,” explained the bubbly Anelisa Mabece, aged 25, to News24 during an interview on Sunday.
“I’m just happy to be in a space where I am learning each and every day… I am one of the lucky people.”
Mabece is one of four previously unemployed graduates – along with Lutho Dzedze, Bajabulile Makhaye, and Vuyo Ngqondela – who have been chosen for a sixth-month internship at Executive Mayor Athol Trollip’s office.
All four are residents of the city.
After graduating in 2017, with an Honours degree in Corporate Communication, Mabece said that she began job hunting in earnest – applying for positions across the country, but hearing nothing back from potential employers.
She was thrilled when she found out about the internship programme at the Mayor’s office.
“It shows opportunities are available in your hometown.”
Looking into the future, said she would like to become a communication specialist, promoting brands and turning them into multimillion dollar enterprises. She also would like to try her hand at news reading.
Mabece’s ultimate goal though was personal – to ensure her mother’s well-being.
“She is 62. I want her to retire and to know I can take care of her,” she said.
Challenge to businesses
Another intern, 41-year-old Vuyo Ngqondela said that after completing a diploma in Municipal Administration in 2001, he was unable to find employment in his field.
Instead, he worked as a shelf packer and machine operator until he came across the internship application offer on Trollip’s website.
“I am grateful for the opportunity, as at last I will be in a working environment where I can gather some experience and learn. Then I hope for something permanent from there,” Ngqondela told News24.
In the future, he said he would like to pursue further studies – perhaps in Business Administration.
The father of two said that had dreams for his 12 and nine-year-old daughters.
“I would like them to become graduates so that they can have nice jobs and a bright future,” he explained.
In a statement about the internship programme, Trollip said that too many graduates remained unemployed.
He said he recently met a volunteer working as a coach controller on the Apple Express steam train who was actually a botanist with post-graduate qualification.
“Confident, competent and very intelligent yet unable to find permanent work in her field of study,” Trollip said, adding that this was the plight of many – and one which the Metro wanted to help alleviate.
“The involvement of various private and public sector entities, facilitated by the Mayor’s Office, will see local potential employers interfacing with the City’s unemployed graduates on a regular basis.”
Trollip issued a challenge for business in Port Elizabeth to open up an internship position – or two – for locals.