Team South Africa scoops eight medals out of the sixteen (16) categories contested at the WorldSkills (South) Africa Competition in Swakopmund, Namibia. The results were announced at the closing ceremony on the night of 02 April 2022, following a week-long and successful competition. South Africa only participated in fourteen (14) of the sixteen skills categories. Of the ten countries that competed in the competition, South Africa walked away with half the number of medals leaving the other half to be shared among the other nine African countries.
The outcome shouldn’t be taken lightly because it is indicative of the hard work the South African government continues to do in investing, particularly in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) space. The Department of Higher Education and Training’s priority is to strengthen and position the TVET colleges as institutions of choice for a large proportion of school leavers. The white paper on post-school education and training says that the government expects TVET colleges to become the cornerstone of the country’s skills development system.
When interviewed on the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation at the WorldSkills Africa Competition, Deputy Director-General for Skills, Mr Zukile Mvalo elaborated on the latter. “Deliberately, we will ensure that the number of graduates coming out of our TVET sector is of quality and as high as that in Universities. This is because today’s world economies are proving to be moving towards a direction that demands the world to invest in artisanal skills and South Africa should not be left behind”, he said.
At the experts and competitors’ thanksgiving breakfast ahead of the WorldSkills Africa Competition closing ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Buti Manamela called upon the Sector Education and Training Authorities and other key stakeholders to continue being part of the journey that seeks to ensure that government reaches its target of producing 30 000 quality artisans by 2030. The Deputy Minister also implored upon competitors to be champions and advocates of the work government is doing to encourage their peers to take up artisanal opportunities government is making available through TVET Colleges.
South Africa is one of 85 countries affiliated to World Skills International (WSI) and has been a member since 1990, making it the first African country to be a member of WorldSkills International.
WSI was established in 1950 as a non-profit organization, with the mission to promote and facilitate, through co-operation and worldwide awareness, the essential contribution that skills and competitive standards make to the achievement of economic success. Unpacking the WorldSkills mission to the Deputy Minister Buti Manamela, WSI Vice President, Mr San-Quei Lin said WorldSkills recognises four (4) major regions: Europe, Asia, America and Africa. He said while the other three regions already have regional organisations, Africa does not and it is WorldSkills’s intention, working with the African Union to ensure that Africa does have its regional organisation in the near future. “Every region has its own growth prospects and priorities. It is therefore very important that Africa also has its own WorldSkills regional organisation so that the activities are not only limited to one event which is the WorldSkills Africa competition. The regional organisation will be able to go an extra mile in promoting and focusing on the training of the African youth on a huge scale and to drive skills development in the entire continent as it makes collaboration and resources easily accessible between countries”, said the Vice President.
WorldSkills President, Mr Chris Humphries said, during a meeting with the Deputy Minister, that one of the most common practices in the world is that individual countries in Europe would invite some country members to send their competitors to be part of their national competition. A practice the Deputy Minister committed WorldSkills South Africa will need to explore in the near future, to invite countries in the South African Development Community (SADC) region. WorldSkills South Africa aims to host its national competition in June 2022 in preparation for the WorldSkills International Competition taking place in China, Shanghai in October this year.
The biggest winner at the WorldSkills Africa Competition was Africa. The Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation in Namibia, Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi applauded all competitors for having shown resilience and proving to the world that indeed Africa has got talent and is capable of anything. Appreciating the work WorldSkills is doing in partnership with the African Union, Namibia’s Deputy President, Dr Nangolo Mbumba said during his closing keynote address, “the objectives of the Africa conglomeration align well with our continental agenda 2063 which is Africa’s blueprint for sustainable and inclusive growth and development through which we envision as African nations, to build an integrated prosperous and peaceful continent. It is a vision founded on the development of Africa’s people as its most important resource and one which recognises the transformation potential of Technical and Vocational Education and Training.”
The next host for the 3rd WorldSkills Africa Competition will be decided and announced at the 2022 WorldSkills International Competition.
Team South Africa won medals in the following categories:
|Automotive Technology||Gold||Ceajay Bosman||Port Elizabeth TVET College|
|Bricklaying||Gold||Lungelwe Mtetwa||Coastal TVET College|
|Fashion Technology||Gold||Thulubheke Ncanana||Durban University of Technology|
|Plumbing||Gold||Siphesihle Masina||Gert Sibande TVET College|
|Hairdressing||Gold||Hilke Minnie||College of Cape Town / Hugo The Chair Company|
|Mechatronics||Silver||Boesman Mpete and Gift Morokolo||Tshwane University of Technology|
|Cooking||Silver||Daivy Ramphele||Waterberg TVET College|
|Web Technologies||Bronze||Azanda Zama||Institute Turmeric Digital|
|Team SA also was also awarded Certificates of Participation in Water Technology and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. There were no winners in these categories due to the limited number of competitors.|
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