Monday, 3 March 2014

Coega Development Corporation and The Keiskamma Trust Youth Development Programme launch driver training in Hamburg

Coega Development Corporation and the Keiskamma Trust have signed a memorandum of understanding for the delivery of the Coega driver training programme in Hamburg village.  The signing and hand-over ceremony on Thursday 27 February was attended by representatives and associates of both organisations, communityrepresentatives and community members from the villages of Hamburg, Ntilini, Bodiam and Bell.

Alf Settle (Coega:Driving Programme Manager)ThabangMeslae (Keiskamma: Executive Director) and MvululekeMvaphantsi (Hamburg Community Committee: Chairperson)

Driving simulators have been installed at the Keiskamma Trust Vulindlela Youth Centre and were officially handed over at the ceremony.  Since the launch of the Coega driving programme in the Eastern Cape over 1,000 unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 35 have been trained and obtained their drivers’ licences.  

The Keiskamma Trust’s youth development programme assists youth in villages around Hamburg to access opportunities for studies, training, employment and skills acquisition.  In anticipation of the start of training on the driving simulators installed in Hamburg, 85 people have already applied to be part of the programme.  The training will start in the first week of March.

Hamburg is far away from Peddie and East London.   For people from Hamburg and neighbouring villages to access the Peddie training programme, they need to travel by taxi to Peddie which costs R48 per day.  Since those attending the programme need to do so for a minimum of 3 days a week in order to complete the training in the allocated time, this amounts to at least R144 per week.  The training on the simulators is free and participants only pay for their test bookings.

A trainer from Coega puts one of the simulators through
its paces as keen future trainees look on

Unemployment in the area is 78% which is 20% more than the Eastern Cape average. The economic situation faced by local communities makes life for young people extremely difficult. Part of the youth development programme is a career guidance and counselling programme offered to high school learners, recent school leavers and other young people.  It is clear that having a drivers licence will significantly increase their prospects of employment.  Access to resources that link people to the external world is one of the greatest problems faced by this generation of youth.