Coega further expands driver training programme to rural Eastern Cape communities


THE Coega Development Corporation (CDC), a leader in South Africa’s socio-economic growth and development, announced today that it will launch its flagship driving training programme in the Matatiele Local Municipality on Thursday (MLM) (23 October).

The launch which will take place at Matatiele Local Municipality Town Hall where it’s expected that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed between the CDC and MLM. The driver training programme is Coega’s flagship Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme.

During the 2013/14 FY, the programme assisted 901 people to obtain their driver’s licenses as compared to 401 in the previous year, an increase of over 55%. The targets for the current financial year 2014/15 are to achieve 1292 driver’s license passes.

The CSI programme affords unemployed youth the opportunity to obtain a Code 8 Driving Licence. Since 2012, the programme has been launched in 18 sites over the Eastern Cape Province and two sites in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), an area Coega is in an implementing agent on infrastructure programmes for KZN department of Education and Social Development.

“The programme has positively touched many lives and will continue to do so. The Coega-led CSI initiatives focus on skills, education, training, upliftment and empowerment,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC Head of Marketing & Communications.

To date, the training interventions have assisted:

  • 8 193 candidates for Learner’s Licence training
  • 6 163 candidates for Driver Simulator training; and
  • 1 957 candidates have passed and obtained their drivers licence.

 The Matatiele beneficiaries include unemployed youth between the ages of 18 to 35 from communities challenged by socio-economic inequalities.

Matatiele Local Municipality Mayor, Cllr Momelezi Mbedla, said the municipality is very grateful to be part of the programme.

“This forms part of our government’s call of skills development especially amongst the youth. Some of the youth of Matatiele are unemployed and most of them are from deep rural areas with no source of income which means they can’t afford to attend driving schools, therefore this programme will help a lot.

The MLM Municipal Manager Dr Tsepang Nakin said, “there is a desperate need for this programme because it is affordable and will help us curb the high number of accidents in our roads since learners will be thoroughly trained to obey the traffic rules.  According to the Census 2011, 71% of the population in Matatiele is younger than 35 years of age and only 7% are over 65 years.”

“The creation of more job opportunities should also be one of the key aspects of the developmental agenda by the municipality in partnership with the sector departments and Government parastatals. Coega Development Corporation has made this dream a reality by partnering with the Municipality,” Nakin said.

“Coega’s CSI programmes offer long term sustainable solutions and improves the lives of communities through empowerment and self-development that ultimately enables economic participation,” added Dr Vilakazi.