The Western Cape outskilled Free State in the Sasol Foundation-Kagiso Trust Interprovincial Technical Skills Competition.
This year 63 finalists from Free State, Gauteng, Western Cape, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga competed for top honours at the University of Johannesburg’s Doornfontein campus.
The finals of the competition, which took place on Friday, brought together all provincial winners to compete under five areas of specialisation – welding, construction, power systems, plumbing and woodwork.
Western Cape took home first prizes in three of the five categories.
Michelle van Eden from Labori High School in Paarl was announced as number one in the construction category; Jaden Botha from Northpine Technical High School in Brackenfell in plumbing, and Zuané Moir-Drostdy of Technical High School Worcester in woodwork.
The top province in the matric results, Free State, took first place in two categories.
The welding top spot went to Ruwayne Xashimba from Heatherdale Comprehensive Secondary School in Bloemfontein, and power systems went to Kayle Herbst of Technical Secondary School in Sasolburg.
In 2022, the competition introduced the teachers’ category, and a total of 36 teachers participated in the 2023 finals under three categories.
Limpopo was the big winner with two teachers taking the number one spots. They are Lufuno Phuravhathu from Mabalane Seleka Technical in Lephalale for welding and MA Bopape from Tjetje Technical in Groblersdal for power systems.
“The competition has evolved significantly since its inception in 2018. It started as a pupil-only competition in Free State focused on welding only.
“Over the years, it has expanded to include multiple specialisations, reflecting the diversity of vocational skills in demand,” said head of Sasol Foundation Noxolo Kahlana.
“For sustainable development to occur, there is an urgent need for us to pay attention to training highly skilled human resources to serve as key drivers of the economy.
“Skills competitions not only raise professional standards but awareness and introduces the potential of a skilled career to a much wider audience.”
CEO of Kagiso Trust Mankodi Moitse said upskilling the youth with vocational training can assist to reduce the high unemployment rate.
“There are many opportunities for young people skilled in a trade,” said Moitse.