Western Cape TVET students ready for the international stage

Public TVET College students, private college students and industry apprentices from across the country competed at the Second South Africa WorldSkills Competition in Durban recently, vying for the honour of representing South Africa at the International WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in October 2017.


The three-day competition, held from 14-17 February at Durban’s ICC, involved 122 competitors. The Western Cape entered 32 participants to perform in 17 of the 22 skills areas, namely: Automotive Body Repair, Automotive Technology, Beauty Therapy, Bricklaying, Spray Painting, CNC Turning, Cooking, Electrical Installations, Graphic Design, Hairdressing, IT Network Systems Administration, IT Software Solution for Business, Plumbing & Heating, Refrigeration & Air-conditioning, Restaurant Service, Web Design and Welding.


WorldSkills South Africa - Team Western Cape

WorldSkills South Africa – Team Western Cape


Competitors from the Western Cape walked away with eight gold medals, qualifying to represent South Africa in Abu Dhabi at the International World Skills Competition. The gold medalists were:

  • Automotive Body Repair – Mughammad Yacoob Damon, False Bay College
  • Beauty Therapy – Abigail Marais, College of Cape Town
  • Bricklaying – Mihle Mvelakubi, Northlink College
  • CNC Turning – Renier Joseph Wepener, Northlink College
  • IT Network System Administration – Cee-Jay Lance Lakey, Northlink College
  • IT Software Solutions for Business – Ihsaan Claasen, 24Wireless
  • Plumbing and Heating – Siyabonga Makhathini, Northlink College
  • Restaurant Service – Lee-Ann Smith, International Hotel School

The province took a further eight medals, including three silver medals and five bronze:

  • Beauty Therapy (Silver) – Tarryn Brown, College of Cape Town
  • CNC Turning (Silver) – Shane Appollis, Northlink College
  • Hairdressing (Silver) – Ruan Aucamp, NX Hair Academy
  • Beauty Therapy (Bronze) – Monique Petersen, College of Cape Town
  • Electrical Installations (Bronze) – Faghrudeen Samuels, College of Cape Town
  • Graphic Design (Bronze) – Rihaco Debruin, Northlink College
  • Hairdressing (Bronze) – Almareen Benn, College of Cape Town
  • Restaurant Service (Bronze) – Mikyle Lakay, False Bay College


In his opening address at the National WorldSkills Competition, Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande said, “the WorldSkills South Africa project is one of the projects in the Department targeting the continuous expansion of the TVET Colleges sector particularly on artisanal skills. To us this crucial event will help enhance and develop skills among our young people as well as increase our efforts in empowering our young people with the competence and knowledge which will allow them to become full and productive participants in our industrial economy.”


The WorldSkills Competition is held every two years and is the biggest vocational global education and skills competition event that attracts participation from young people in industry and training providers from 74 countries.


The competitors represent the best of their peers and are selected from WorldSkills competitions in member countries and regions. Participants must demonstrate technical abilities, both individually and collectively, to execute specific tasks for which they are trained or perform in their workspace. One of the main reasons for participating as a country in the WorldSkills Competition is to give visibility and importance to practical vocational education and training, as one of the major vehicles for socio-economic transformation.


Issued by:

Western Cape TVET Marketing Forum

Skills training for seagoing Engineering Cadets

TRAILBLAZERS: The Department of Maritime Studies has teamed up with industry and the College of Cape Town to train marine engineering students in workshop skills which are needed before they start working on ships
In yet another first for the African continent, CPUT has teamed up with industry and the College of Cape Town (CCT) to launch a project to boost the skills of marine engineering students.


This flagship project is intended to provide the much needed statutory South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) accredited Marine Engineering Workshop Training (MEWT) to CPUT marine engineering cadets, who have successfully passed S1 and S2 in 2016.


The training will take place prior to their work integrated learning seagoing phase aboard internationally owned trading vessels.


“The MEWT is a is a statutory requirement of the SAMSA Code and the International Maritime Organisation’s international convention governing the standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers to which South Africa is a signatory,” says Pieter Coetzer, Training and Development Manager at the South African Maritime Training Authority (SAMTRA).


Participants include CPUT’s Department of Maritime Studies, the College of Cape Town, SAMTRA and the Transport Education Training Authority.


The students will be trained on, among others, diesel engines, electrical, fitting and turning, hydraulics, pneumatics, sheet metal work and welding for a period of approximately eight months.


Coetzer adds that the CPUT students will after the training be required to work on merchant ships for a further 12 months, and obtain an internationally recognized certificate of competency issued by SAMSA.


“This will enable them to work in the international shipping arena as Marine Engineers, and earn a tax-free, foreign currency salary,” he says.


The programme also ties in with the Government’s Operation Phakisa, an initiative aimed at tapping into the opportunities the ocean’s economy provide.


Written by Kwanele Butana Tel: +27 21 959 6916

Provides coverage for the Business and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.

College of Cape Town Ambassadors takes WorldSkills SA by Storm

We are pleased to announce that seven students from the College of Cape Town are amongst those representing the Western Cape at the WorldSkills National Competition taking place at the International Convention Centre in Durban from 14 – 16 February 2017.


WorldSkills prides itself in improving the world with the power of skills, showcasing the value of skills and raising the recognition of skilled professionals world-wide.


College of Cape Town CCT WorldSkills SA WSSA Team 2017

(Left to right) : Fagrudeen Samuels, Tilly Reddy (Deputy Principal: Academic Services, CCT), David James Le Grange, Kauther Norton, Ezra Isaacs (Skills Expert), Almareen Benn, Monique Petersen, Tarryn Brown and Abigail Marais


Early last year a number of competitors entered the Local Heats that took place at various TVET Colleges around the Western Cape. Participants and skills experts were put through their paces to be amongst those selected to compete in the Western Cape Provincial competition that took place in December last year.


A prestigious awards ceremony was held at the College of Cape Town to further identify the competitors that showed the highest level of technical, attitudinal and behavioural skills and these participants were then selected to represent the Western Cape at the WorldSkills National Competition in Durban. As the nerves, excitement and pure anticipation became more evident, the competitors received a personal word of encouragement from the College of Cape Town Principal, Mr Louise Van Niekerk and PADSC (Provincial Artisan Development Steering Committee), who arranged a readiness workshop on the 9th February to ensure all our competitors and skill experts have everything they need to represent the Western Cape in style. Competitors and skills experts gathered at Cape Town International Airport on Sunday morning to take flight for this once in a life time opportunity they worked hard to attain. We encourage our competitors to keep up the hard work so that they can be amongst those selected to represent South Africa on the International platform as well.


The International Competition is really the “Olympic Games of Skills” with more than 1 000 of the best in their skills area from 74 countries come together to compete to see who is the best in the world.


The top candidate from each skills area at the National Competition will undergo a rigorous training programme in preparation for the International Competition, which takes place in Abu Dhabi in October 2017.


We would like to wish all our participants all the best for their journey through the final stages of the WorldSkills Competition.


Author: Melissa Bezuidenhout

Young artisans take up Western Cape challenge

18 November 2016: Public Technical and Vocational Education & Training (TVET) College students, private college students and industry apprentices competed during late November and early December 2016 for a spot to represent the Western Cape at the National WorldSkills South Africa Competition in 2017.


Mr Mduduzi Manana, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training launched WorldSkills South Africa in 2013, as part of his drive to make (TVET) Colleges and artisanal trades more attractive.


The regional challenges saw 61 students under the age of 23 compete in 17 vocational skills areas.  Finalists from the provincial challenge will be trained and evaluated to form part of team Western Cape, which will go on to compete at the 2017 National WorldSkills South Africa Competition in Durban in February 2017.  Top performers at the National Skills Competition will represent South Africa at the International WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi later in 2017.


Participants were selected from a range of earlier competitions held at TVET Colleges throughout the year to compete in skills areas such as Autobody Repair, Automotive Technology, Beauty Therapy, Bricklaying, Car Painting, CNC Turning, Cooking, Electrical Installations, Graphic Design, Hairdressing, IT Network Systems Administration, IT Software Solutions for Business, Plumbing & Heating, Refrigeration & Air-conditioning, Restaurant Service, Web Design and Welding.


During the regional and national competitions, candidates are evaluated and judged on their technical ability to complete challenges within the prescribed time allocations. Vigorous candidate training and planning is provided by experts in each skills area to ensure candidate readiness for each level of the competition.


The Western Province competitions were attended by skills experts, judges, Higher Education & Training officials and the principals from the participating TVET colleges in the Western Cape.


College of Cape Town hairdressing WorldSkills SA WSSA WSSAWC

College of Cape Town Hairdressing finalist with her products from the competition


In a briefing session prior to the competition Ms Tilly Reddy, WorldSkills South Africa, Sub-committee Chairperson said “The Decade of the Artisan supports the Department of Higher Education & Training’s artisan development mandate, the Government’s National Development Plan, and forms an integral part of the TVET College calendar. We are proud of all the students selected to represent their college and province, but the hard work starts now.”


According to the main custodian, the DHET, the WorldSkills Competition provides numerous prospects for skills exchange, experience and technology innovation while raising awareness of the artisan sector and its career path possibilities for gainful employment.


The National Skills Competition will be open to the public, and learners, educators and parents are encouraged to attend the event for insight into the various artisanal trades.  For more information visit the Western Cape World Skills Facebook page:


Author: Fatima Allie, Fatima SA Communications on behalf of the I-CAN Centre and College of Cape Town

College of Cape Town ICAN Graduation

Graduates with Lecturers Hester Carolissen on the left, Fahiem Jeppie on the right and Mr Gilbert Thomas of ERSWA in the middle


Confidence, Maturity and a sense of Achievement is what oozed at the Graduation Ceremony at the I-CAN Centre for students who completed the course in IT Essentials and Essential Business Skills from October to December, last year.  The ceremony took place at the I-CAN Centre in Halt Road Elsies River on 12 February 2016.


The I-CAN Centre forms part of the roll out of the Western Cape Government’s broadband plan to connect communities across the province over the coming years. These 2 Skills Courses were funded by Department of Economic Development & Tourism (DEDAT).


The College of Cape Town is the training partner for the I-CAN Centre, through the Genesis Project, to develop and deliver a blended learning model of ‘Essential Business Skills and IT Essentials’ with the intention of improving employability of students.


Fahiem Jeppie, lecturer for IT Essentials was happy and overjoyed to see his class of 13 students graduating.  He said “Over the past 4 months I could see their confidence grow together with their understanding of computer concepts, trouble shooting and hardware.” He added that “with this ‘IT Essentials’, the student is able to apply for a Junior IT position, ready for on the job training.” He encourages leaners with matric or learners who have not passed matric but who possess a passion for IT, to complete this course.


15 Students graduated in ‘Essential Business Skills’ and lecturer Hester Carolissen said the change within the students were unbelievable. Hester said “as first the students were shy, sometimes even intimidated by the enormity of the educational environment but now 4 months later they are confident, mature and self-assured.  As a lecturer and teacher I look forward to seeing how the graduates will go into the community and change the lives of everyone they meet for the better.”


“Communication and presentation is important in the business world.” This is what Graduate Bronvin van Rooyen said about his learning experience. He is now able to look at every opportunity and use it to his advantage.  He said if he looks back to 4 months ago, he can confidently say that his ‘Attitude’ is what has changed the most and he highly recommends the course to everyone.


Natasha Anderson thanked her lecturers for making that difference in their lives, for caring and sharing so that they could graduate today!


Parents and Graduates alike were smiling as Certificates were handed out by Mr Gafieldien and Mr Halls of the College of Cape Town.  Mr Thomas Gilbert, Chairperson of the Elsies River Social Welfare Association (ERSWA) says that he has been serving the community for the past 50 years and today seeing these Graduates has made him very happy.


Local Artists Adrian Dampies and Larnelle Horne rendered an item in song encouraging the students by singing “ You never knew the Lord would bring you this far”.


Centre Manager Llewellyn Scholtz said it was a proud moment to see how the lives of students have been changed and also to see how the investment from the I-CAN Centre is able to give them a better future.


‘I can! You can! We all can at the I-CAN Centre!’ is how Judah Scholtz, Centre Co-ordinator ended the Graduation Ceremony.



  1. ICAN Graduation: Graduates with Lecturers Hester Carolissen on the left, Fahiem Jeppie on the right and Mr Gilbert Thomas of ERSWA in the middle.



Fatima Allie – Contact: 082 066 3353


Author: Deon Halls, Academic Manager, College of Cape Town


The Bett Show (formerly known as the British Educational Training and Technology Show) is an annual trade show in the United Kingdom that showcases the use of information technology in education. Over the past few years, the show has expanded from being a purely technology show, and whilst it has played host to companies ranging from multinationals Microsoft, Google and Apple Inc. to small single-product firms, it has also created themed zones for exhibitors, such as those specialising in SEN (Special Needs) provision.


Apart from the trade show itself, a large number of seminars from well-known providers are held at Bett, which offer training (Continuing Professional Development) opportunities for education professionals. Every year our Norwegian Partner, Haugaland Skole, encourages the public TVET colleges in the Western Cape to visit the annual Bett Show in London to keep abreast of the latest developments in educational technologies. Odd Henning Johannessen (Principal of Haugaland Skole) is highly supportive of the event and both College of Cape Town and False Bay College as organisers of the International North South TVET ICT Conference to attend the event in order to be in touch with trends and developments and to make contact with potential international speakers for the conference.


This year, the event was attended by Marian Theron (False Bay TVET College) and Deon Halls (College of Cape Town) along with two Grassy Park school principals (Denzil van Graan and William Prinsloo).

College of Cape Town attends BETT Show London 2016

The event’s keynote speaker was Sugata Mitra who is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, UK. Sugata is well known for his $1m TED Prize in 2013 in recognition of his work and to help build a School in the Cloud, a creative online space where children from all over the world can gather to answer ‘big questions’, share knowledge and benefit from help and guidance from online educators. The School in the Cloud brings together Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs) to link in with the Granny Cloud, originally set up in 2009 following an appeal for retired teachers willing to offer a few hours a week to help teach English to Indian schoolchildren.


This mentoring and encouraging role is still a vital part of the success of this educational approach today. His “hole in the wall” theory and lessons involves leveraging chaotic info into creating structured inputs from students through a natural processes and self-organisation. The granny cloud refers to an unstructured teacherless self-organised learning environment. The “school in the cloud” concept was born from his theory and a 3 year project conceived to test if the concept could work if students can learn by themselves. Important for the research project was group interaction, decent internet access and some measure of support. Based on the findings of his research, the future of teaching and learning is on “assessment” (ie. the starting point for change in education) which must become continuous and automatic to open-ended questions. The future assessment system will transform the teaching system – this is where change must happen to produce spontaneous and ordered responses. Professor Sugata pre-empts the future of pedagogy where “finding out” becomes more important and “knowing”. Similarly, another change process involves evolving “writing” to “communication” and “arithmetic” to “how to compute” a response.


Apart from our Bett Show attendance, we used the meeting opportunity with the Norwegians for North South conference planning sessions in order to strategically align the theme of our conference for the year based on findings and trends at the show. Odd Henning Johannessen also sees the value in inviting all partners (Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Irish and English) of the Erasmus + Project (European Union funded) to attend as it also added great value in terms of insights for the project. The Erasmus + Project involves FE Colleges from the various European countries in collaborate around ICTs and educational technologies that are deployed in innovate ways. These experiences are documented and researched and shared amongst the consortium.


At present, the European Union rules are being reviewed which might pave the way for College of Cape Town and False Bay College to enter a further collaboration as African partners. Other that the Bett Show, several other engagements were attended to such as the Association of Colleges (UK) and Find-a-Future (WorldsSkills UK) visits, a meeting with Liz Waller (Director of Library Services at the University of York) and a trip to Highbury College (a top rated FE College by Ofsted) in Portsmouth in order to foster a new partnership for the College of Cape Town.


Author: Claudia Albrechts, Jewellery Manufacturing Lecturer, College of Cape Town

College of Cape Town Jewellery Sakhile Ndawo PlatAfrika 2015

The College of Cape Town were once again afforded the opportunity to participate in the prestigious PlatAfrica 2015 competition. Sakhile Ndawo, a third year Jewellery Manufacturing student, was rewarded with an Honourable Mention at the award ceremony held at the spectacular rooftop deck at the Level three Kramerville Place in Gauteng. Sakhile received the award based on his innovative and inspiring design.


The annual PlatAfrika Awards is a celebratory occasion sponsored by Anglo Platinum and Metal Concentrators. The recent ceremony was attended by 350 guests, which included distinguished guests from design houses and established jewellery manufacturers.

The annual PlatAfrica competition has become synonymous with excellence in platinum jewellery design and manufacture and is one Anglo American Platinum’s key beneficiation activities. The competition requirement therefore not only showcased the beauty of platinum, but also the remarkable talent of our local designers. Under the 2015 theme “Indian Bridal Jewellery”, local designers were challenged to create symbolic platinum jewellery based on the Indian tradition of ornate jewellery, which for thousands of years was renowned for its visual appeal.


Although gold jewellery dominated designs in the past, modern brides are now slowly moving towards innovative designer jewellery made of platinum, true to tradition, yet contemporary in design. It was therefore a challenge for each and every designer to create a jewellery piece for the bridal couple that would be simple, yet meaningful; modern, yet respectful of tradition and elegant, yet making a statement.


The competition received 148 entries, with Sakhile being placed in the top 20. He based his inspiration in the Indian tradition and the commitment to tradition through their long heritage. He was drawn towards the Indian people and their close bond to family, relatives and loved ones. It is a cycle of life that has continued throughout the Indian culture and has come to life through his unique platinum earrings platinum. “This year’s competition was a wonderful challenge and experience” said Sakhile, who is proud to have received such an honourable award.


Louis van Niekerk, Principal congratulated Sakhile on his achievement and thanked the academic staff for their dedication towards the students’ future career paths. “The quality and creativity of the pieces entered into the competition was a true reflection of South Africa’s talent and passion for platinum design. Our students’ participation, and Sakhile’s achievement, again emphasises that our students have not only benefited from personally handling platinum and learning about is strengths and capabilities, but they have developed the skills required for designing and manufacturing jewellery in a very competitive industry. We are very proud of their achievements”, said Van Niekerk.


College of Cape Town CCT Beauty Therapy make-up ITECCollege of Cape Town CCT ITEC Beauty Therapy Make-upCollege of Cape Town CCT ITEC Beauty Therapy Massage

The College of Cape Town’s Beauty Therapy Department is fully accredited to offer the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC) qualifications. ITEC has been awarding high quality and respected industry qualifications since 1947. It is now one of the world’s leading and most successful awarding bodies specialising in the Beauty and Complementary Therapy sectors.


ITEC offers one of the largest beauty qualification portfolios including qualifications for employability, specialist subjects and skills enhancement leading to Continuous Professional Development (CPD). The College of Cape Town ensures that the qualifications obtained from the institution have global recognition and that they meet the quality standards as required, both nationally and internationally.


The Beauty Therapy ITEC qualification commences at Level 2, allowing access to those that have successfully completed Grade 9. This three year qualification (Level 2, 3 and 5) offers an opportunity to gain theoretical, practical and integrated college and industry work experience thereby ensuring readiness for employment. The qualification offers a structured work placement component.


Upon completion of the ITEC Diploma Level 5, graduates will be qualified as Beauty Specialists in Facial, Body and Complementary Therapies. Work opportunities are available world-wide in any industry that requires the services of a qualified Beauty Therapist or someone skilled in dealing with customers, e.g. beauty salons on cruise liners, health spas, hotels, your own business, industry-related consultancy, industry-related sales and marketing, lecturing at an industry-related educational/training institution.


For more information on this exciting career field, please contact Wynberg Campus at tel. 021 797 5540.


The reality of longer and multiple careers over a lifetime means individuals will have to re-skill and up-skill as technologies and ways of working change. The need for individuals to earn an income to support their families are however affected by the inability to take time off to study full-time. At the same time the limited space in tertiary and TVET institutions for full-time studies means that individuals need to consider other means of achieving their career and education dreams.


Education brings significant benefits to communities, not only through higher employment opportunities and income but also via enhanced skills, improved social status and access to networks. With full-time studies not always an option, part-time study plays a critical role to in raising, updating and improving skills to ensure that individuals have the skills and qualifications employers need.


The College of Cape Town offers a variety of exciting part-time and short enrichment programmes to help employed individuals and youth not in full-time studies develop the skills required to enhance not only employability, but improve earning potential, provide access to better career prospects and promotion opportunities, and enhance individual self-confidence and happiness.


Part-time study offers the flexibility to fit in education around a working or family life, while continuing to work to support your family and finance your course. For those that are working, you can simply enjoy being better at the job you already have.  A qualification that’s linked to your current career can help you gain professional recognition, and increase your depth of knowledge in your field. Learning in the classroom can be applied directly to your work, so you’re basically “learning on the job”.


For more information on studying part-time, please contact College of Cape Town at tel. 086 010 3682 or email


Author: Ms Claudia Albrechts, Lecturer, College of Cape Town


Anele Ngxongo, a young mother from Kwazulu-Natal, has again proven that one’s circumstances do not define one’s success. Anele completed her studies in Jewellery Manufacturing at the College of Cape Town in 2015 with the support of a bursary from the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA). Through dedication, passion and the access to financial support from the MQA, Anele’s achievement far outshines her humble background.


Anele is a 24 year-old mother of 5-year old Owami. She grew up in a very big village called Nkandla in the depth of KwaZulu-Natal. Raised by her grandmother, Sakhephi Gabela, while her mother was busy working on piece jobs in Johannesburg, and growing up in a very big family with only one breadwinner was not an easy life for her. Since she was a very young girl, she was dedicated to her duties. Every day she and her fellow schoolmates had to walk 5km to school. After school they were responsible for collecting wood in the forest for boiling water or cooking food for the following day. Not an easy job considering the circumstances, but she managed to obtain her Grade 12 through hard work and determination – a vision, that carried her closer towards her success.


Studying Jewellery Manufacturing was her dream. She always admired her mother’s jewellery and wondered how they were made. Earrings, rings and necklaces became fascinating objects to the growing Anele until she finally obtained an unexpected MQA bursary to study Jewellery Manufacturing at the College of Cape Town. This not only gave her a chance to study post-matric, but to study something that she truly loves. She was excited when the community leader, Mr Mthokozisi Mchunu, called her in and told her about this opportunity. A dream became reality and it was not long until she found herself on a bus to Cape Town – a big city open to wonderful possibilities, whilst leaving young Owami back in the village. There were many times were she missed her life and family back home but the passion for jewellery drove her to complete her studies. Determined to succeed and to bring her knowledge back to her village was a driving force greater than imagined. With the strength and support from her family she dedicated her efforts to achieving her dream that got her where she is now – ready to enter the jewellery industry as a skilled artisan.


College of Cape Town CCT Jewellery Manufacturing Anele Nxongo

Anele Ngxongo, wearing one of the pieces she designed and manufactured during her studies

College of Cape Town Jewellery Manufacturing Anele Nxongo

A beautiful ring designed and manufactured by Anele


Studying Jewellery Manufacturing at the College of Cape Town not only gave Anele the skills and knowledge needed to manufacture jewellery in various metals including platinum but it also enabled her to learn how to set stones in tube, claw, pavé or channel settings. These are techniques that will guide her on her pathway towards victory.


We asked Anele “What’s next?”, as she looked back on what she has achieved. She is proud to come this far, and proud of her strength and determination that drove her to where she is now. With a humble expression Anele responded: “I see myself having a big company at my place one day. A big company, which will help other people. I want to give back to my community and empower those that do not have the chances I had”.


Here we value how one single person, with a passion and a dream can change the lives of many others. One person who steps into an unknown world, leaving behind everything she knows to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to help those that are in need. A victory that can only blossom into something greater than imagined. Let that be a beacon to what can be achieved through hard work, endurance and a vision to the betterment of this country. It is a great success story that can inspire many others.

College takes top honours at annual Cisco Academy Awards 2015

Author: Deon Halls, Academic Manager for ICT and Art & Design, College of Cape Town


The College of Cape Town’s Cisco Networking Academy was once again awarded top honours for the best performing TVET College in the country.  The award was made at the 2015 Cisco African Safari conference hosted by Cisco Systems and the Durban University of Technology.  The event was well supported both locally and internationally with more than 100 delegates from 21 Cisco Networking Academy Programmes (CNAPs) from outside of the borders of South Africa, from ten different nationalities such as Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Five international representatives (staff) of the Cisco Academy was also in attendance.


This year’s theme had a management focus, a review of technical updates and also profiled a battery of newly availed resources to aid academy students for workplace readiness and employability.  These add-on curricula is designed to give students a better insight into the real world of work including modules such as the Introduction to the Internet of Everything, Introduction to Cybersecurity, Linux Essentials, Being your own boss, Entrepreneurship and Getting Connected.  During the conference, top performing Academies were recognised for their contribution towards supporting the programme as well as their contribution in developing the internetworking technology skills so desperately needed in the region.


About the African Safari Conference


The annual African Safari conference brings together CISCO NetAcad contacts, successful leads and instructors and the programme accommodates both technical and non-technical Academy staff.  The Cisco Networking Academy programme holds an annual conference for more than 80 networking academies across Southern Africa.  These academies are hosted at colleges and universities across Southern Africa, including the 69 networking academies in South Africa.


The Cisco Networking Academy programme partners with governments, NGOs and educational institutions worldwide to afford students the opportunity to become ICT networking professionals, thereby increasing a countries ICT skills base.  The vision is aimed at providing access to quality education which will improve their position and contribute to the advancement of democratic values in the province.  Cisco has over the years shown its commitment to the building of a new South Africa and invested approximately R100 million in training over 34 000 students in a variety of ICT skills.  This has occurred largely through the establishment of the Cisco Networking Academies across South Africa with plans to introduce another 200 Networking Academies into government schools and TVET colleges over the next few years.


The fact that over 80% of all Networking Academy students are employed shows that Cisco is providing students with skills geared towards the needs of the ICT sector in South Africa.


About the International Cisco Networking Academy Programme


The Networking Academy curriculum is delivered online using a proprietary learning platform (Netspace) in partnership with local learning institutions.  Cisco provides the curriculum, learning platform, and support resources.  Local learning institutions hire instructors, provide equipment, and enrol students.  An engaging, up-to-date curriculum created by experts in technology and instructional design.  Curriculum tools include:

  • Hands-on labs and online activities for the practical application of learned skills;
  • Cisco Packet Tracer, a network configuration simulation tool, used for teaching, gaming, and team building;
  • Instructor guides, community forums, and professional development support instructors;
  • Innovative online assessments include embedded activities, simulations, text questions, and performance-based reviews.


About the College of Cape Town’s Cisco Networking Academy Programme


As a flagship, the College of Cape Town’s Cisco Networking Academy has its roots during the years which led up to the FET College merger during 2002, a period when the Athlone Technical College developed many international partnerships with organisations such as the COTEC (Algonquin College 1999-2003), University of Massachusetts, Springfield Community College (USA) and numerous others based on the outcomes of staff tours.


The origin of the Crawford Campus’s Cisco Academy stemmed from a partnership between the Athlone Technical College, Springfield Community College (USA) and the North East Centre for Telecommunication Technologies (USA) who signed a joint agreement based on funding from a US Aid Grant.  The terms and conditions of the grant specified the development of a telecommunication curriculum (assisted by the COTEC Project) based on a “matching” funding model.  One year after signing up as a Local Cisco Academy, with staff attending the first International Cisco Education Conference in Paris, France.  Whilst in Paris, a funding proposal was submitted to Unseco’s InfoYouth Division at their Headquarters for the establishment of an Academy.  Subsequently, Athlone Technical College became the recipient of first Unesco Funded Cisco Academy in Africa.


The impact of this development has left a significant legacy for the College of Cape Town, which staff is particularly proud of at the Crawford Campus.  In the years to follow, the College of Cape Town Cisco Academy witnessed many successes and received a few awards and recognitions along the way. These included:

  • The first TVET College in South Africa to implement the Cisco Networking Academy Curriculum
  • Only Networking Academy in Africa to delivery Panduit Cabling Curriculum (2003 – 2007)
  • Cisco Academy Sustainability Award 2007
  • FET Award for the Most Innovative Programme 2007
  • Cape IT Initiative Award for a Top Cisco Student 2007
  • The CSIR Hosted Achiever Award Nomination (Science and Technology category) 2010
  • The DoC’s 3rd Annual ICT Expo Skills Competition – Top honours to a CCT student (2010)
  • Best TVET Cisco Academic for 2014 and 2015
  • Top performing ex-students now at CPUT’s Dree programmes for 3 years running (2013 and 2015)


About the 2015 TVET College Cisco Academy Award


In recent years, the Networking Academies programme was introduced to 29 TVET Colleges by the Department of Communication’s Maraka eSkills Institute, and has since trained over 2000 students as certified computer technicians.  The criteria used for the TVET Colleges section was:

  • Impact on new students
  • Student satisfaction feedback
  • Variety of course offerings
  • Consistency of impact


The College of Cape Town is proud of the achievements of its Cisco Networking Academy programme over the years since the inception of the programme in South Africa.  The 2015 TVET College Awards reconfirms the quality of the programme that is being delivered, a sentiment that was also recently echoed by Vaughan Beckerling (Director of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology Cisco Academy Programme) at their recent Certificate Ceremony in Granger Bay.  In his opening address, Vaughan acknowledged the quality of College of Cape Town graduates consistently being fed to them, and the fact that their two best performing students in the Advanced ComNet Programme for 2015, Budzouta Tsangou and Sherwin Retief, were two ex-College of Cape Town Cisco Networking Academy Programme students.  The Principal of the College of Cape Town, Mr. Louis van Niekerk, has extended his congratulations to the Management and Lecturing staff of the IT Department based at the Crawford Campus for their commitment to the programme and for the consistent results being yielded.

Award-winning township entrepreneur heads off to the US for a magical book tour

(Journalist: Fazielah Williams on behalf of the College of Magic)


With magic anything is possible … just ask Mzukisi Lembeni, managing director of  tour operator company iMzu Tours and qualified magician – turned book author, as he embarks on a United States of America book tour for his bestseller, Introducing Cape Town’s Townships , this Tourism Month!


A graduate of Cape Town’s College of Magic, the only magical arts organisation of its kind in the world, Lembeni founded his tour guiding company in September 2011 and credits the College for imbuing him with self-esteem and teaching him the necessary expertise to build his professional persona with presentation, showmanship and business skills. His magical skills are what sets his Cape Town tours apart from others, as he performs magic for his tour guests.


An ardent fan of close-up and comedy magic, Lembeni first caught the attention of tourists and his tourism mentor Claus Tworeck, MD of City Sightseeing South Africa, whilst performing magic shows at the Two Oceans Aquarium in 1998. Since then, he has successfully completed his tertiary education through the University of South Africa (Tour Operation Management) and has also attended the College of Cape Town where he studied Tourism Management and Tour Operation.


CCT Graduate Tourism Mzukisi Lembeni

Mzukisi Lembeni (Photographer: Bryan Miles)

Lembeni published his first book, Introducing Cape Town’s Townships, in 2014 and is currently developing his second manuscript. He will be visiting schools, colleges, universities and business clubs in the States to chat about his book, his entrepreneurial journey, life story and his magical studies.


“I am very excited about this trip! It’s a once-in-a- life-time experience and I cannot wait to share my amazing tale with a larger, global audience “, says the excited businessman.


That the book tour kicks off during Tourism Month and around World Tourism Day on 27 September, 2015 is a fortuitous event. With this year’s Tourism Day theme being “Millions of tourists, millions of opportunities”, Lembeni’s passion for the tourism industry shines through in all he does:

“I am passionate about this industry because I love people and I love learning new and exciting things. My core passion, though, is township tourism because it is necessary for uplifting the community and creating jobs for locals. I foresee a future where the government invests steadily in township tourism by supporting our businesses with grants or collaborations that are mutually beneficial.”


The College of Magic, a non-profit organisation based in Claremont, has been teaching magic and its allied arts to children and adults for 35 years. Many of its graduates span the kaleidoscope of careers, finding success in business, IT, engineering, medicine, comedy, the film industry and education.


“We are incredibly proud of Mzukisi and all that he has achieved. Magic is at its core about making the impossible possible, and Mzukisi’s successes have proven he shares this universal desire to achieve it! ” says David Gore, director of the College.


For more information about Imzu Tours and bookings, please visit For more information about the College of Magic and its courses, please visit or call +27(0)21 683 5480.


(Journalist contact details: Email:; Cell: 0839296999)


The College of Cape Town for TVET recently sent a delegation of staff members to experience the 2015 WorldSkills International Competition in São Paulo, Brazil first-hand.  This delegation is the third group from the College to attend the international competition since 2009.  Through exposing staff to this event, the College aims to further enhance skills development and excellence by making this competition element second nature in the classroom.  This strategic move is in line with the National Development Plan to produce 30 000 artisans per annum, by 2030.


The College’s delegation was led by Ebrahim Peters, Deputy Principal: Academic.  Mr Peters also serves as the chairman of the Provincial Artisan Development Steering Committee (PADSC) in the Western Cape, the body overseeing provincial artisan/skills development in TVET Colleges.  According to Mr Peters, “WorldSkills provincial competitions is one of thecommittee’s key performance areas.  There has been significant growth, development and capacity building in the Western Cape between TVET Colleges, Industry stakeholders, SETAs and communities during 2014/15.”


“The College of Cape Town for TVET currently finds itself in an advantageous position purely because we have invested in exposing our management and staff to WorldSkills International Competitions since 2009, and based on the changes made by previous delegates that went overseas, I am confident that this trip would further enhance our efforts to support skills development.” said Mr Peters.



“South Africa will be participating in 19 skills areas and competing against the world’s best.  This life-changing experience will not only have the opportunity to master technical skills, but also self-discipline and many other essential life skills required for success.  The College believes that this exposure will open up different opportunities for our youth.  We can see the South African economy benefitting from this type of investment in our youth, and the College of Cape Town for TVET is doing everything it can to make sure that we also play our part in contributing to effective skills development. This and other skills competition projects will be used as trajectories to help the College’s students and staff improve their standard of performance so that it meets the standards as set by WorldSkills”, said Mr Peters.


The experience and results of the international competition provides valuable feedback to not only the individuals, but also to the systems and enterprises in which they are being trained.  For certain participants, it provides recognition for outstanding achievement, whilst for others it provides the motivation and knowledge to aspire to higher standards.  For the spectators, it is an educational experience to see highly competent young tradespeople in action.


College of Cape Town for TVET’s plumbing student, Glendon Garthwaite, was selected as a member of the national team to represent South Africa and compete in the Plumbing and Heating Skill Area at the WorldSkills International Competition that took place in São Paulo, Brazil during August 2015.


Glendon’s participation is as a result of the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) having taken a leading role in repositioning WorldSkills South Africa as the driving force for the promotion of world-class vocational skills in the country.   Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges have been identified as institutions that will take the lead in making this a reality through partnerships and extended networks.


Within the South African context, participation in the WorldSkills International Competition holds huge potential to influence the development and employability of the South African youth.  In addition, it acts as an effective vehicle to increasing awareness of apprenticeships and artisanal skills, and raising the standard of vocational education and training and artisanal skills, thereby contributing to future economic growth.


To prepare and hone Glendon’s skills at both technical and professional level, he was mentored and supported by a group of highly skilled and dedicated trade experts from within the College of Cape Town for TVET, WorldSkills South Africa and various external partners and sponsors.  At a farewell function hosted at the College of Cape Town for TVET prior to Team SA’s departure for Brazil, Glendon said, “I am very grateful to the College for this opportunity and also for their continuous support that I have received in preparation for Brazil.  I truly appreciate and thank the College for sponsoring my tool kit, amongst other items.  I feel honoured and privileged to be representing my College and my country.”



(f.l.t.r.) Louis van Niekerk (Principal), Glendon Garthwaite, Marcus Garthwaite

(f.l.t.r.) Louis van Niekerk (Principal), Glendon Garthwaite, Marcus Garthwaite


Marcus Garthwaite, Glendon’s proud father, who is a plumber by trade and an alumnus of the College of Cape Town for TVET’s Thornton Campus, said, “I am extremely proud of Glendon’s achievements, which he has certainly deserved.  He is a hard worker who is dedicated to excellence.”  Mr Garthwaite thanked the College for awarding his son the opportunity to participate in the regional competitions that took place in 2014, and the national competition in January 2015.  He said, “I attribute my own success to the College of Cape Town for TVET and their dedicated staff under whom I completed my own plumbing practical training.”  Being a mature student when he completed his studies in 2007, Mr Garthwaite said, “My decision to study a trade was one of my best.” After completing his apprenticeship, Marcus Garthwaite completed his trade test and is currently a successful entrepreneur owning his own plumbing business, Purple Plumbing.  Glendon is employed as apprentice at the company.


According to Louis van Niekerk, Principal of the College, “South Africa is on the right track in focusing on developing our youth and their skills against global standards.”  He commended the Minister and Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Nzimande and Mr Manana, for mandating TVET Colleges to drive development in partnerships with industry and SETAs.  Given recent developments to this end and the structures that are currently being put in place by the DHET, Mr van Niekerk said, “I am glad that the College of Cape Town for TVET took a strategic decision many years ago to focus on using WorldSkills as a benchmark for our training.  The College has sent members of staff to various Skills Shows, WorldSkills International Competitions and leading educational institutions abroad, so that we could successfully implement that ethos into our teaching and learning.”


Mr van Niekerk congratulated Glendon on his achievement and thanked him for his dedication, commitment and passion for his trade.  He especially commended him for having the tenacity, mental strength and determination to go all the way to represent his country at international level.  He wished him every success for Brazil and encouraged him to do his best and represent himself, his family and his country with pride and joy.  “To the College of Cape Town, Glendon is already a winner, whom I believe will return and share his experience and skills to develop his peers and contribute to skills excellence in South Africa”, said Mr van Niekerk.


About WorldSkills International

WorldSkills International is a not for profit membership association open to agencies or bodies which have a responsibility for promoting vocational education and training in their respective countries/regions.  Over its 60 year history, WorldSkills International (formerly known as the “Skill Olympics”) has come to symbolise the pinnacle of excellence in vocational training.  Every two years hundreds of young skilled people from member countries around the world, accompanied by their experts (mentors), to compete in the skills of their various trades and test themselves against demanding international standards.  They represent the best of their peers drawn from regional and national skill competitions held annually in 72 countries and regions.  This is the biggest vocational education event in the world, featuring more than 60 countries/regions, involving more than 1 000 competitors, over 1 000 experts, as well as educational, government and industry leaders.



Enquiries can be directed to Ms Sharon Grobbelaar, Corporate Communications and Marketing Manager for the College of Cape Town for TVET at or tel. +27 21 404 6723.

College of Cape Town wins prestigious Golden Arrow Award

The College of Cape Town for TVET has again been recognized for business excellence!  The College was awarded the Golden Arrow Award in the Colleges &Training Institutions category at the annual City of Cape Town and Cape Peninsula Regional Survey Business Excellence Awards Ceremony took place on Friday, 05 June 2015 at the African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel and Spa in Cape Town.  The College received the Bronze Arrow Award in 2014. presents the awards in recognition and as reward for excellence across all sectors in the Western Cape region.  Through an intensive research survey process, industry stakeholders are invited to nominate companies and institutions, and thereafter a survey is completed to measure the perceptions of respondents on the companies and institutions nominated.  The survey measures stakeholder perceptions on the following criteria:

  • Enhancing economic growth in the region
  • Management expertise
  • Corporate governance
  • Corporate reputation
  • Brand awareness
  • Marketing efforts
  • Innovation.


On behalf of the College Council and Management, we wish to congratulate all staff members on this achievement, and than each one for their contribution, dedication and hard work as part of our College family.  The recognition received is only possible through the dedicated efforts of a strong team.


Meet Glendon Garthwaite, WorldSkills South Africa’s 2015 Champion for Plumbing and Heating, and indeed the embodiment of how cool it is to be a 21st Century Artisan.


Glendon Garthwaite, WorldSkills SA Plumbing & Heating Champion 2015

Glendon Garthwaite, WorldSkills SA Plumbing & Heating Champion 2015


Glendon, a 19-year old plumbing apprentice holds an N2 in Plumbing through his studies at College of Cape Town’s Thornton Campus and is currently working as an apprentice for Purple Plumbing in Cape Town.  He has to date gained more than a year’s practical experience in his chosen career through working during holidays and over weekends.


We met up with Glendon to find out more about his passion for his career and his preparations for the WorldSkills International Competition taking place in São Paulo, Brazil in August 2015.


The first thing that strikes one when meeting this young man is his quiet smile and humility, but his passion for his chosen artisanal career and the excitement at where his skills can take him quickly indicate why this young apprentice is destined to succeed.


What does your job entail?


“I spend my days doing what I love, applying my skills and learning new skills all the time.  My job as an apprentice plumber consists of repairing and installing geysers and hot water systems; the installation of sanitary ware and solar geysers; doing renovations to bathrooms and cleaning drainage and sewage systems.


A standard work day would be from 08h00 to 18h00, where I try to get as much work done as possible during the day, but as plumbers we also often deal with emergencies after hours and over weekends.


Depending on the schedule for the day, we do five jobs per day on average.  When emergencies occur, we obviously do more and work longer hours to ensure that our clients are assisted.


A large part of my time is spent on the road, not only travelling between jobs, but also visiting suppliers and preparing quotations for clients.  We serve clients across the Cape Peninsula and Stellenbosch and travel to wherever the client needs our services.”


What is the best part of your job?


“I especially enjoy the jobs that place me under a lot of pressure, such as my being responsible for doing an installation on my own.  These opportunities allow me to do the work by myself and prove my skills and abilities to my supervisor.”

 What is the worst part of your job?


“The worst part is definitely those times where I make a mistake and have to redo the job.  I take that as a challenge though and truly enjoy what I do.”


Why did you choose this career?


“I have always been practically inclined and thoroughly enjoy practical work where I am able to use my hands to solve problems or make something new.  The results of my efforts are visible immediately, which definitely helps to motivate me.  Using my skills and doing practical work is also a great stress reliever for me.”


How do you prepare for competitions such as the WorldSkills Regional and National Skills Competitions?


“I participated in a Western Cape Inter-College competition in 2014, as well as the WorldSkills SA Regional Competition, and then the National Skills Competition in January 2015.


I had just completed my practical modules at college before the Inter-College competition in 2014, so the knowledge was still fresh in my mind.  This, together with the excellent support I received from my lecturers, especially Mr Schroeder, helped prepare me to compete at a technical level.  The guidance and support received from my lecturers ensured that I knew what to expect, thereby allowing me to go home and practice all my skills and prepare for the competition.   I like to be organised and work in a clean environment, so planning my work area also helped to give me the edge during the competition.  This is also how I approach my daily work, and it is very effective.


Glendon Garthwaite Academic team CCT WSSA2015

 (f.l.t.r) Mr Pat Lawrence (Academic Manager), Mr Jamie Holtzhauzen (Lecturer), Glendon Garthwaite, Mr Fazlie Schroeder (Lecturer) and Mr JT Abrahams (Programme Manager, Building & Civil Engineering)


For the Regional Competition it was important that I attend not only to my practical skills, but also being prepared mentally.  I used the orientation time before the competition started to familiarize myself with the work stations and to plan and prepare what had to be done, where, when and how.  The time provided to competitors before the start of the actual tasks also allowed me to prepare my tools and do the necessary measurements before the time.


The National Skills Competition was a new but very exciting challenge that not only helped me see what to expect of the international competition to an extent, but also to develop my personal and soft skills.  I am naturally very introverted and initially suffered from nervous fear, especially at meeting the other unknown competitors from across the country.  This nervousness however quickly disappeared during the team-building opportunities that allowed us to get into the right mind-set whilst getting to know the other competitors.  The opportunity allowed me to establish new relationships, which will certainly help me in the long run.


On a technical level, the tasks and tests chosen allowed me to showcase all the skills I have been working so hard to develop and fine-tune during my studies and my apprenticeship.  It was very exciting for me to have to do a full bathroom installation by myself for the first time!”


What was your first thought/reaction when you received the news that you have been selected as the South African Champion in Plumbing and Heating?


“I was at work and got the exciting news via my mother.  I am incredibly excited about being acknowledged and selected as the WorldSkills SA champion to represent my country in Brazil.  Attending the competition will also be my first trip outside of South Africa’s borders, so I am really looking forward to it all.  I’m even considering learning some Portuguese.”


What are you looking forward to most about being part of Team SA going to Brazil?


“Besides the excitement of competing at international level and learning from the experience, I am really looking forward to sharing the experience with friends I made during the National Skills Show.  I look forward to being part of the official team representing my country, and of course enjoying my first trip overseas.”


What will your preparations for going to Brazil entail?


“At this stage we haven’t received the details on the formal training and preparations to be arranged by WorldSkills South Africa.  I look forward to the preparations though and will give it my all.”


Why is it cool to be a 21st Century Artisan?


“Being an artisan is cool because I have the opportunity each day to solve problems using my skills, knowing that I fixed something.  I make it cool for myself because I look forward to each day and each job as a challenge.  I meet different people every day and I get to work with really cool tools, especially with all the modernisation in technology.  Through continuously developing my skills, I am preparing myself for the future in my career field and making a difference as a member of my generation.”


The College of Cape Town is very proud of Glendon’s achievements, and firmly believe that he will be an inspirational ambassador not only for South Africa and the College of Cape Town, but for young artisans across the country.


Mr Pat Lawrence, Academic Manager for Building & Civil and Mechanical Engineering at College of Cape Town, shared some wisdom and motivation with Glendon.  “We are incredibly proud of Glendon’s achievement, and we are proud as a College that we have contributed to his success and his future career dreams through the continued efforts of our staff.  Glendon is a Springbok for skills in South Africa.  All the time, effort and sacrifice still to come in preparation for the international event is sure to stand him in good stead not only in Brazil, but for all his endeavours in building his future.”


We wish Glendon all the very best for WorldSkills São Paulo, and encourage him to “Be a MacGyver” that inspires and applies his artisanal skills to create a better future for all whose lives he touches.

Woolworths offers lecturers from TVET colleges and University of Technology an ‘insider view’

Higher Education to benefit from Woolworths high impact skills development initiative


Woolworths, South Africa’s leading retailer, is running the 2nd instalment of its “Inside Retail” programme with five Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). The programme, launched in 2013, seeks to provide lecturers with on-the-ground, practical experience of the retail environment to complement their academic knowledge.

“In the National Skills Development Strategy III (NSDSIII) the Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande called on the private sector to assist government in its quest to promote the growth of the public TVET colleges in order to advance skills development in South Africa,” says Sibongile Antoni, Woolworths National Learning and Development Manager.


“Woolworths is proud to offer the lecturers a chance to better understand the complexities of retail so that together, we can be part of the skills development transformation that we want to see in our country.”


The programme targets educators in higher education and offers a week-long, embedded course where the lecturers gain some background on the retail value chain and then head straight out to the distribution centre, suppliers and to the shop floor to put theory into practice.


The lecturers are not only responsible for providing students with the knowledge and skills that they will need to succeed in the course being studied, but also have the challenging task of ensuring that they supply industry and the country with skilled individuals to meet the skills shortage in SA.


“By offering the lecturers who teach retail related subjects’ industry exposure; we’re helping to ensure that our institutions of learning have the capacity to deliver the skills that are required in the sector.”


Woolworths – a leader in this kind of approach to training, skills development and learning – is using the programme to create a learning value chain that builds a talent pipeline from secondary education to employment and beyond – inclusive of lecturers and teachers.

To this end, Woolworths has invested a significant amount of money, growing its financial contribution to learning and skills development year-on-year, through the Woolworths Academy. This contribution has increased by more than 400% since 2009/10, which is an indication of the company’s commitment to skills development programmes and ensuring the sustainability of the retail sector.


“Within the context of the South African transformation agenda, Woolworths also uses skills development to unlock transformation of the industry in line with our commitment to ensuring that our business is representative of the entire country.”


The retailer also said it made business sense to pursue this type of training. “Aside from Woolworths developing a talent pipeline aimed at ensuring the future sustainability and professionalism in the sector, we are using training as a tool for future economic empowerment for trainees and enabling them to become empowered, economic citizens in the future, thereby contributing to South Africa’s growth.”


Participating TVET colleges include the College of Cape Town, False Bay College, Northlink College, Boland College, and South Cape College plus the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).


The Inside Retail lecturer development programme ran for a week between March 23 and 27 in Cape Town and at participating Woolworths’ stores.



Issued on behalf of:                  Woolworths

Issued by:                                 Amy Shelver

Meropa Communications



For Woolworths:                        Babongile Dlamini

International Spotlight on Local Skills

The importance and incredible value of relationships between local TVET colleges and vocational training institutions and related organisations overseas was highlighted, shared and celebrated on a grand scale during the inaugural WorldSkills South Africa National Skills Show, which took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 28 to 31 January 2015.


As a result of long-standing relationships with role-players in the WorldSkills arena, exposure over many years to international skills competitions and relationships cemented with international stakeholders in the vocational skills arena, WorldSkills South Africa (WSSA) and the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) approached the College of Cape Town for assistance in planning, coordinating and executing this event, the first of its kind in South Africa.


Members of the College’s staff were drafted to the WSSA National Planning Committee (NATCOM) to ensure that the high WorldSkills standards are met, and to set a benchmark for future events.  The skills, experience and expertise of these staff members were applied to the various areas of planning and preparation, to ensure that the objectives of the event would be met.  These skills included Logistics, Health & Safety Management; Conference Management; Event Management; Coordination of all aspects of the competition; Budget Management and the management of Marketing and Publicity.


The concept of the WorldSkills Capacity Building Workshop developed from the relationship between the Association of Colleges (UK) and College of Cape Town during the colleges’ visit to WorldSkills Leipzig in 2013.  This relationship grew to see the WorldSkills Legacy project between College of Cape Town and Kendal College (UK) in 2014, and ultimately the partnership that coordinated and presented the Capacity Building Workshop with Find a Future (UK).  More than 250 delegates from TVET Colleges, international colleges, SETAs and representatives from other WorldSkills member countries attended this workshop to share best practice in all aspects of skills competitions.



Louis van Niekerk, Principal and CEO said, “The College of Cape Town is honoured and proud to have played such an integral role in this inaugural event.  We wish to thank the DHET and WorldSkills SA for entrusting this extraordinary task to us and for recognising the inherent skills and expertise as beneficial to achieving their objectives.  We also thank our sister TVET colleges in the Western Cape for their support.  We encourage and strongly urge all other TVET colleges to join forces with WorldSkills South Africa for the promotion of vocational training not only in our country, but globally.  This event truly showed that our TVET colleges are serious about vocational training, and that “it is indeed cool to be a 21st Century Artisan.”


The College Council, management, staff and students wish to congratulate the finalists selected from the College, and wish them all the very best for the selection of Team South Africa.  College of Cape Town students who have been selected as finalists are Ashleigh Cupido (Cooking), Faghrudeen Samuels (Electrical Installations), Glendon Garthwaite (Plumbing & Heating) and Christine Runkel (Restaurant Services).


All the very best to Team SA for the competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2015.  We know that you will make your country proud!


The WSSA National Planning Committee with Dr Raymond Patel (CEO, WorldSkills SA) and Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana

The WSSA National Planning Committee with Dr Raymond Patel (CEO, WorldSkills SA) and Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana

members of the College staff who formed part of the WSSA National Planning Committee (NATCOM) (f.l.t.r.)Sharon Grobbelaar, Deon Halls, Louis van Niekerk, Deputy Minister Manana (DHET), Tilly Reddy, Ebrahim Peters and Basil Naicker

Members of the College staff who formed part of the WSSA National Planning Committee (NATCOM)
(f.l.t.r.) Sharon Grobbelaar, Deon Halls, Louis van Niekerk, Deputy Minister Manana (DHET), Tilly Reddy, Ebrahim Peters and Basil Naicker

College of Cape Town Admin Support Task Team members with Ester van der Linde, national Coordinator: WorldSkills SA

Admin Support Task Team members with Ester van der Linde, National Coordinator: WorldSkills SA


The annual Siemens Cyber Junkyard competition, sponsored and arranged by Siemens, took place in Johannesburg on 27 October 2014.  After a hectic day of interviews, presentations, physical demonstrations and testing of the competition entries, College of Cape Town took first prize in the 2014 competition.


Cyber Junkyard 2014 Champions


In previous years’ competitions, teams were required to recreate and automate a project defined by Siemens.  This year, students taking part in the Cyber Junkyard 2014 had to conceptualise and build automated machines to address a need in the industries that they had nominated.  Each project had to include a detailed business plan for their product.  During the competition, the students had to pitch their ideas and business plans to a team of industry experts in a format not dissimilar to the popular television show Dragon’s Den.


The College of Cape Town team, which consisted of National Certificate (Vocational) Level 2 and 4 students, and an N5 student, designed and manufactured an automated fluid bed coffee bean roaster named the Collegiate RGB52, which already has the coffee roasting industry in Cape Town buzzing with excitement!  The RGB52 fluid bed roaster is fitted with Siemens HMI colour touch panels to monitor the process, as well as a Siemens S71200 PLC with PID controls.


“South Africa needs dedicated and well trained engineers.  But we also need people with a vision for the future.  People with creativity and a talent for engineering solutions beyond every day thinking.  In a country with such high unemployment, entrepreneurial skills are not only essential to the engineers of tomorrow, but also to the communities in which they create opportunities when their businesses become successful,”” said Raymond Padayachee, Vice President: Process Industries and Drives, Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa.


The College of Cape Town team consists of Nisrine Jirari (team leader and process controller), David Dyers (software developer), Bertram Blankenberg (electrical engineering), Kevin Tjihero (mechanical engineering), Aaron Milner (finances), Magdalene Pretorius (marketing); lecturers Mark Wichman, Ricardo Croy and Chris Josephs; and academic manager Pat Lawrence.


Not only did this dedicated group of students design and develop a product perfectly suited for the South African and African market, but they took their passion one step further and obtained certification as baristas, thereby ensuring that the knowledge and skills applied to their product is based on understanding the end-product and consumers’ expectations.


“We are extremely proud of the achievements of this dedicated and passionate team of young aspiring engineers,” said Louis van Niekerk, Principal and CEO of College of Cape Town.  “This project challenged not only their engineering skills, but inspired their minds to identify a unique need and develop a product to address that need through bringing the production of this coffee bean roaster onto South African soil.  This concept will be saving business owners from spending millions on importing roasting machines whilst creating job opportunities in the future through the planned production of the Collegiate RGB52, and the other products planned to expand the range.”


“The success of these young students showcases the achievements and quality education offered via the National Certificate (Vocational) and Report 191 programmes at public TVET Colleges.  Competing against, and winning first prize against universities and Universities of Technology engineering students certainly shows that TVET Colleges deliver.  Through industry partners such as Siemens and the merSETA, TVET colleges are able to excel at meeting industry needs,” said Van Niekerk.


The College of Cape Town receives R100 000 in Siemens products, and the students will benefit from R14 000 in Siemens training.  Each student also receives a GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition Camera.

College of Cape Town Receives Prestigious Business Award

College of Cape Town was amongst the Western Cape’s most influential business professionals to be awarded certification as one of the Top 300 businesses in the Western Cape.  The award was presented to Mrs Elsie Potgieter, Deputy-Principal: Innovation & Development during the pre-launch Networking Breakfast of the Western Cape Top 300 business directory, which was hosted in the tallest building in Cape Town CBD, the five-star green-rated FNB Portside building, on Friday, 29 August.


As a leader in the Technical and Vocational Education & Training (TVET, previously known as FET) sector in the Western Cape, College of Cape Town’s presence amongst top businesses such as the City of Cape Town, Wesgro and Integr8, amongst others, signified the prominence and prestige of the event.


Mr Louis van Niekerk, Principal and CEO welcomed the award.   “This acknowledgement of the value attributed to the role the College of Cape Town plays in not only the Western Cape, but at national level, is an affirmation of the efforts put in by dedicated staff to provide in the economic needs of our communities and our country.  We are honoured to receive this award, and to be acknowledged at such a high level for the positive impact we bring about through the provision of quality education and training.  This award not only acknowledges that we are developing the potential of our clients through quality Education and Training in response to the skills development needs of the country, but serves as assurance that our dedication to constant innovation and quality improvements are setting a benchmark for technical and vocational education and training in South Africa,” he said.


Premier of the Western Cape Helen Zille presented the keynote address, pinpointing the necessity of a solid relationship between government and businesses in order for the province, and the nation as a whole, to continue to prosper on the global stage.  Ms Zille indicated the province’s dedication to skills development within the province, and College of Cape Town is a proud key role-player in addressing the skills need through quality training initiatives and close relationships with business and industry.


Three-time winner at the National Business Awards Lance Fanaroff, Integr8 Co-Founder and CEO, highlighted how to effectively use the exposure to further business interests even beyond the province’s borders, with specific reference to Integr8’s own success.


First National Bank General Manger Stephan Claassen gave delegates an express tour of the venue, which has been awarded five stars for its eco-friendliness and urban ecology. One fast-track networking session was held where delegates were granted the opportunity to exchange business cards with fellow leading companies from around the Western Cape.


Western Cape Top 300 is a publication that showcases the province’s top contributing companies that propel the Western Cape economy forward. The publication is the ultimate business resource that positions the province as one of the most innovative corporate hubs in South Africa.  Click to find out more.


College of Cape Town_Top300_Certificate 2014