Coega and EC Provincial Government bring Driver Training to Steytlerville

AUGUST 1, 2014
DRIVER TRAINING: The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has extended its Driver training programme to benefit the community of Willowmore in the Eastern Cape. Signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Baviaans Municipality, the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison and the CDC yesterday (Tuesday, 29 July 2014), were the Baviaans Municipal Mayor Councilor Edwald Loock, MEC of Transport, Safety and Liaison, Weziwe Tikana, and Advocate Zuko Mapoma, Executive Manager, CDC Corporate Services.

The Eastern Cape MEC of Transport, Safety and Liaison, Weziwe Tikana, announced a partnership between her department and the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) which will benefit women in transportation in the Eastern Cape.

The announcement was made at the launch of the CDC’s Driver training programme at the Willowmore Town Hall in the Baviaans Municipality in the Eastern Cape yesterday (subs: Tuesday, 29 July 2014) during which a state of the art driver simulator and vehicle was handed over.

The department’s Human Resource Development Directorate, was in the process of finalising an agreement with the CDC to assist in the implementation of another Driver Training Project. The project will be run in partnership with the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA) and the South African Network for Women in Transportation (SANWIT), the MEC said.

“TETA has committed R4.2million targeting 70 beneficiaries from all districts for the SANWIT driver training initiative,” Tikana said. “This will be an intervention which we will collectively drive until March 2016 in order to help the people of our province, whose majority is youth and we believe that having such a youthful population is an asset that should be harnessed for economic and social development.

“This initiative will further complement our Qhuba Mntomtsha Uphuhle Learner Driver Training Programme, which is led by our Road Safety Directorate as we intend to expand the programme to various rural and township high schools,” she said.

The MEC added that the department was proud to unveil the Baviaans initiative which sought to address the triple challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty through skills development.

Tikana said the department had strengthened its partnership with the CDC in an effort to improve access for youth to drivers’ licences through massive expansion of the programme to various parts of the province, especially in rural areas.

Advocate Zuko Mapoma, Executive Manager, CDC Corporate Services said he was happy with the partnership with the department.

“The partnership is critical and we need a political champion for the driver training programme. This relationship will help us assess opportunities to train people,” Mapoma said.

Tikana added that they were also finalising the memorandum of understanding with CDC with regards to further maths and science projects in order to reach more rural parts of the province.

The driver simulator-based training is the first step in a comprehensive driver training programme. This is followed by on-road training by a qualified driving instructor.  The driver simulators are compliant with the K53 driving curriculum, and cover the modules of identification of components, pre-trip inspection, starting procedures, moving-off and changing gears, handling of vehicle (hand-eye co-ordination exercises), parallel parking, alley docking, turn in the road, incline start, highway driving (with different weather conditions), city driving in basic and advance mode and a yard summary.

“As the CDC we want to ensure young people have access to our world-class driver training programme, which provides crucial skills and enables employability because, a driver’s licence is often considered a prerequisite to obtaining employment,” Advocate Mapoma said.   

“Since the launch of the driver training programme in 2008, the CDC has partnered with various institutions of higher learning to extend the programme to reach the greater Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC’s Head of Marketing and Communications. 

There are 17 higher learning institutions in the Eastern Cape already benefitting from the Coega driver training programme, among the recipients are: Buffalo City College in East London, Lovedale FET College in King Williams Town, Eastcape Midlands College campuses based in Uitenhage, Graaff- Reinet and Grahamstown, Ikhala Colleges in Queenstown and Aliwal North, Ingwe FET College in Mbizana, Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha and NMMU Missionvale campus. The programme has also been extended to the Ngqushwa Municipality in Peddie and the Chris Hani Development Centre in Cofimvaba, added Dr Vilakazi.

During the 2013/14 financial year alone 901 people have obtained their drivers’ licenses and 3 591 people trained with the view of obtaining learners’ licenses.