Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in partnership with the Local Government Sector and Education Training Authority (LGSETA) and eight hosting municipalities in the North West province held an eventful graduation ceremony on Friday, 23 June 2017.

This memorable occasion was graced by Cllr B Ngobeni: Acting Executive Mayor: Mahikeng Local Municipality, the LGSETA’s Chief Operating Officer: Mr Mkhize and Dr John Mudau, Chief Executive Officer: University of Venda (UNIVEN), parents and other dignitaries.

The purpose of the graduation ceremony was to celebrate 90 learners who have successfully completed the Environmental Practice Learnerships programme. The programme enabled the learners to acquire skills needed to address requirements of the new local government competency framework for environmental occupations.

“Students this is your day and it fills me with pride and joy to stand on the podium and witness this momentous occasion, today is a culminating and rewarding experience”- said Cllr Steve Van Rooyen in his opening and welcome address.

During the address, the spirit of jubilation and exultation echoed through the graduation hall at the Mahikeng Hotel School.

Mr Mkhize, COO at the LGSETA highlighted that the learnership aimed to bridge the skills gap and the funding from the LGSETA made that possible. He further stated that it is the organisations mandate to ensure that such interventions are funded and as a result creating a greater impact on people’s lives and municipalities alike.

In his message to the students he encouraged students to see this opportunity as not the end but the beginning of their journey, he emphasised that students should continue to carry their certifications further.

“Coming times will be exalting and will depend on your determination, you have worked hard, learnt new skills that were not needed in the past. You are now armed with critical tools to forge your paths ahead, it’s not that certificate counts but the knowledge and skills you have acquired along the way that’s of more importance” expressed Cllr Ngobeni in his keynote address.

Dr..John Modau thanked the LGSETA for the continuous support of the process and expressed that he was elated to be offering a learning programme accredited by the SETA. He further said that this qualification will enable the learners to utilise the skills acquired on a global scale. “With your certificate, you can be an Environmental Practitioner not in the North West Province but in any of the Provinces in South Africa”.

The handover of certificates by the officials concluded the astounding event, it can thus be said that the Environmental Practice Learnership graduation ceremony was indeed a milestone in the learners lives and it was one occasion that will be cherished forever.

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