Stellenbosch Municipality

By: Stephanie Nieuwoudt

He can do basic carpentry, painting and plumbing. But he has always wanted to do an electrician’s course.

And with this certificate, he can now further im0prove his qualifications so that he can obtain his Wireman’s License.

“It is going to take a few years, but I have a passion for electrical work and this is a qualification I shall work hard to obtain,” said Chadwin Apollis, one of twelve beneficiaries of the Mayoral Skills Development Electrician Assistant course at the event where they received their certificates at Stellemploy on Monday (31 August).

Chatwin, who was also the best student on the course, proudly showed some of his test results.

Caption: Ms Betta Augustyn, CEO of Stellemploy with the young men who received their Ellectrician Assistant certificates Hilton Palison, Nathan Maroma, Judon Jagers, Kerwyn Roos, Gaino Segers (Office Manager: Stellemploy), Eurgan Groenewald (middle) Brent Simmers, Armeen Cornelson, Lindsay Nieveldt, Chadwin Apollis, Eagan Marlow, Zane Goliath, William Thys. The Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego is in the back row. With Shane Zeederberg who trained the young men.

“When I got 97% for a test, I was very unhappy. I was only satisfied when I got 100%,” he said.

On Monday Stellemploy, which trains young people in skills such as carpentry, cooking, electrical work, gardening and painting also celebrated its 20th anniversary.

The Executive Mayor, Conrad Sidego said that Stellemploy is a place where “dreams are given to young people”.

“This certificate is a key that these young men can use to open a number of doors. And when there is no door, one sometimes have to create one.”

Caption: Some of the young men who completed their certificate course qualifying them as electrician’s assistants.

Referring to dire poverty he said that many South Africans are “born dead because of a lack of opportunities”.

“You give young people the skills to live,” he said to Betta Augustyn, CEO of Stellemploy. “When people really live, they also create opportunities for others.”

For Lindsay Nieveldt (23) this course was a further break with drug-fuelled past.

“I was involved with drugs and after a stint in rehab I realised I am really messing up my life. I decided to pull myself together. I know that I will be able to get a decent job with this certificate. “

Brent Simmers had a pragmatic reason for why he wanted to do this course: “Everybody needs electricity. And I know there will always be work for an electrician.”