President Cyril Ramaphosa updating the nation on developments in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa updating the nation on developments in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Cyril Ramaphosa delighted Mpumalanga youths ’very calm’ in raising suspension of learnership

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Sep 19, 2021

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has applauded the youth who raised concern about the suspension of their traffic officer learnership in Mpumalanga without going on a rampage damaging property.

“I am really impressed with the way all of you have raised this matter. I must tell you, you will never know how impressed I am,” Ramaphosa said.

“You have not gone out to break or damage anything. You have raised it as a concern in the way you have. I am very pleased with that,” he said.

Ramaphosa made the comment after a group of youths at Tekwane, near Mbombela, complained about the suspension of a learnership programme that was suspended amid reports of maladministration in the Community, Safety, Security and Liaison Department.

The young people staged the protest holding placards as Ramaphosa, accompanied by Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane and acting ANC provincial chairperson Mandla Ndlovu, inspected a bridge that was damaged by a storm.

Besani Nkuna, a spokesperson for 125 youths, expressed anger that the learnership was suspended amid allegations of maladministration.

“We are not administrators. We did nothing,” Nkuna said.

She said she had depended on the stipend from the learnership to support herself and her disabled child.

Nkuna said she did not know what to do, especially since her father died from Covid-19.

“Even when I try to register for the R350 grant, they say I am a government employee but the government withdraws us without understanding. We want to be reinstated. We want education,” she said.

She complained that they were hired in January only to be sent home six months later.

“What am I going to do at home? Where am I going to study?” Nkuna asked.

In his response, Ramaphosa thanked the group for raising their concern in a very calm manner.

“I can see it is a matter that pains you and others,” he said.

Ramaphosa noted that Nkuna indicated that they wanted to be reinstated in the programme in order to be trained and do work.

“This is a matter I would discuss with the acting provincial chairperson of the ANC. I am with the premier. This matter, we will discuss it and examine it,” he added.

Political Bureau

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