Ukuthemba project comes to the rescue

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“I am glad that I seized the opportunity, despite knowing that it was going to be challenging. By studying and practising I hope I will acquire the skills needed to be an accountant one day. I like numbers and I could not see myself doing anything else,” Thandikhaya Mditshwa explains.

He was a beneficiary of the 2012/2013 Fasset-funded Ukuthemba programme. Offered in George, in the Western Cape, the programme culminates in the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) FET Certificate Accounting Technician.

Mditshwa, whohails from Umtata in the Eastern Cape, enrolled at the University of Port Elizabeth in 2004for a BAdmin degree. Unfortunately, like thousands of other young South Africans, he was forced to abandon his studies. “I ended up dropping out of the programme due to financial problems,” he recalls.

Since employment prospects were poor in Umtata he relocated to Gauteng, where he was found employment as a checker. “I worked. I thought I would be able to save some money in order to further my studies, but this never happened. Fortunately, the Ukuthemba project came to my rescue,” he explains.

His life changed for the better and he was able to resume his studies when he was accepted onto the Ukuthemba programme: “Ukuthemba gave me a chance to study. I associated with the people who shared the same values and goals. English is not my first language. Through soft skills and accounting skills, Ihave learnt to express myself better.”

He is currently a Management Accounting Trainee at PetroSA. “I would like to say thank you to all at Fasset,LH Education, S &T School of Accounting, and Future Creations for giving me the chance to be where I am today. Keep helping the Youth in order to let them know that dreams can come true, if they work harder. By investing in the youth, you are lifting the economy of the country because they are the future economists, accountants and entrepreneurs,” he informs.

Mditshwa is also, very grateful to PetroSA Senior Management Accountant, Christelle Potts. “She is a mother figure to us, without her, It would not be possible for us to be at PetroSA. I am learning a lot from her and her colleagues. The information I am getting from them will be valuable in my life. I would also like to share the good news: our contracts have extended to March 2016, and the pay makes me smile,” he concludes.

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Issue 58