EWSETA gives hope to rural youth of Inkomazi

By Ntsako Mbhokota


Initially in 2010, forty unemployed youth from different rural communities of Nkomazi Mpumalanga were selected to be part of a new exciting water and sanitation leanership called NVC ‘New Venture Creation’ funded by EWSETA (Energy Water Services sector Education and Training Authority.)

The NVC project with 175 credits was launched at Mzinti village by EWSETA and Nkomazi Executive Council on the 12th November 2011 in partnership with Sectoral Departments and Private Sector institutions.  On the 11th September 2011, the Nkomazi Management Executive Council adopted the NVC.

The pilot project is aimed at training the youth and women of Nkomazi in Business and entrepreneur Development, water sanitation health and environment. The NVC also attempts to up-root poverty in partnership with state organs in Southern Africa with particular focus on water, health sanitation and Enviromental initiatives.

63% of the NVC learners who were selected for the NVC project are female and 38% of which are male. This is significant to address imbalances of the past in terms of female participation in Socio Economic Development and water and environmental management sectors in the SADC region.

EWSETA is a skills development authority within the energy and water sectors. Its primary focus is to ensure that they collect information on skills development needs of the sector. Analyze it and develop appropriate qualifications and learning programs to address such needs. EWSETA has been in existence since year 2000 as the SETA to address the following sub-sectors: electricity, nuclear, renewable energy and electrical contracting. In 2005, its scope was extended to include water sub-sector.

EWSETA’s mandate is to provide solutions to the underdeveloped communities in the Southern Region of Southern Africa.

Their mission is to lead, promote and coordinate Energy and water sector Skills Development and workplace learning through:

* Regulating sectoral education and training
* Identifying and communicating sectoral skills priorities
* Funding and development of learning programs
* Improving quality through assurance
ESWETA’s vision is to be a leading skills development authority, facilitating internationally acclaimed skills development and workplace learning for economic growth and social development in the energy and water sector.
The NVC leaners were provided with professional skills on presentation (formative assessment using Observation technique) and ensure feedback as well as cross referencing across the various unit standard specific outcomes. 
The strategic outcome of this project is to unlock and stimulate economic activity for the unemployed youth with grade 12 in Nkomazi who it is believed that because of this program they will be able to create decent work in their village through many skills which EWSETA has equipped them with.
The 40 learners who were chosen for the learnership have completed the courses and practical exercise of the program. 33 of them will be awarded the National Certificate: New Venture Creation of Community Supply and Sanitation. Three learners from the project became councilors after the Local Government elections on the 18th of May 2011, and the rest found work with Capitec bank and Publics Works respectively.
Since the completion of the project more SMMEs have been successfully registered with the support of DTI SEDA and Nkomazi local Municipality Supply Chain Directorate.
The NVC program was designed to make sure ownership of business is in the hands of South Africa, to facilitate private sector employment and enhance domestic savings for investment.
After a learner has completed the program they will be furnished with New Venture Creation (NVC) National accredited certificate NQF 2, 151 credits funded by EWSETA.
The NVC leanership programme is one of the programmes to address scarce and critical skills in water sanitation, sold waste removal, health and environmental management. Targeting more unemployed rural youth of South Africa, the project is to be replicated in various provinces in 2012 on wards subject to Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority EWSETA Executive board approval.
While there are many studies which have emulated the linear model of NVC performance, there have been differing results. Yet there is a general consensus in entrepreneurship literature that NVC success is dependent on business strategy and industry structure as opposed to the characteristics of the entrepreneurs where institutions such as SETAs provide a structured leanership exchange program.

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