Benathi Mayekiso, 22, from Philippi, recently completed his degree in Library and Information Studies at UWC. Benathi is now an adult librarian at the Grassy Park Library. Photo: Supplied / City of Cape Town

Cape Town – The City of Cape Town recently celebrated the academic achievements of 136 staff members who completed their qualifications over the last year through the City’s Education, Training and Development Programme (ETD). 

"The City believes in investing in the lives of young and aspiring professionals and would like to congratulate two of its employees for the brilliant academic and career success achieved at such a young age," it said in a statement on Thursday.

Each year the City provides bursaries, training opportunities and various internship programmes to students through it’s ETD programme. 

Two young students, who graduated recently after receiving bursaries through the City, have achieved great academic success while launching exciting careers within the administration. 

"The City would like to applaud 25-year old Jevon Jacobs from Woodstock who recently completed his Masters in City and Regional Planning at the University of Cape Town," said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, Sharon Cottle. 

"Jevon was appointed as an Assistant Professional Officer within the City’s Development Management department. The other inspiring graduate the City would like to recognise is 22-year old Benathi Mayekiso from Philippi, who recently completed his degree in Library and Information Studies at the University of Western Cape. Benathi is now an Adult Librarian at the Grassy Park Library. 

"It is always so encouraging to see our youth pursue their goals and dreams despite challenging circumstances. They are shining examples of what is possible by making the effort to seek opportunities and assistance.

"It was a privilege for the City to award financial support to these two ambitious and determined young adults. Not only have they achieved their academic goals, but they were also able to secure professional positions at the City at a young age. 

"Evidently, a clear vision, commitment and determination can accelerate your career as young person. I urge the youth of Cape Town to explore all avenues to make their career goals a reality and not to ever give up." 

The freshly graduated Jacobs started his career at the City in February 9. He received a full bursary from the City for four years and went on to complete his Honours in City Planning and Masters in City and Regional Planning at UCT.

"Jevon was inspired to pursue a career in the planning field after being encouraged by his geography teacher and mother to do research into urban planning. 

"He then discovered that his interest in planning and property development came naturally. Jevon maintains that his humble beginnings and strong determination led him to where he is now," the City said.

"I’d like to tell the youth of Cape Town who are still at school, or perhaps have not been able to pursue tertiary education yet, that they should stand in their truth and know their worth. Work towards your truth becoming a reality and then yearn for more," said Jacobs. 

"I live by the notion that time waits for no one and therefore we have to pursue all of our dreams and make use of the days and opportunities given to us. 

"Everything I do in life is for the betterment of the people around me and the future society. This approach was instilled in me by my grandmother, mother and sisters." 

Mayekiso, a librarian at the Grassy Park Library, discovered the librarianship career in Grade 11 after reading the book Nothing but the Truth by John Kani. It is after doing further research and having received encouragement from the  staff at Philippi East Library that he decided to pursue this path. 

"Benathi has always been an ambitious young man. During high school he volunteered at the Philippi East Library. 

"He officially started working for the City of Cape Town libraries in 2017 as a student through the City’s ETD programme at the Cross Roads and Philippi East Library. Here he worked during school holidays which helped amplify his librarian skills," the City said. 

"I am now a professional adult librarian at the Grassy Park Library and am truly grateful to the City for the opportunities and support I have received. The City’s ETD programme has helped me so much and I hope to also accelerate the careers of others in the future. 

"My circumstances at home, as well as the socio-economic issues of our country, have always been my motivation. My message to the youth of Cape Town is that they should remember that the sacrifices and investments they make in their future are and will always be worthwhile. Take the risk of pursuing your dreams." 

The City encourages high school pupils to consider career paths in the fields which feature on the City's Scarce skills list. The list features 33 disciplines that have been identified by the City as being in demand. 

By pursuing one of these fields students will increase the possibility of securing a bursary, as well as boost their growth within the organisation if they are already an employee. 

Apart from bursaries, the City has a number of strategies and programmes in place to assist in its efforts to provide as many opportunities to individuals who want to grow and create a better future for themselves. The programmes range from learnerships to Graduate Internship Programmes and job shadowing opportunities.