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don’t blow the


a word from the ed





Ursula Munnik COPY EDITOR


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Post Matric ISSN number 2074-4412

How many times has a well-intended adult advised you not to dwell on the past; not to waste your time focussing on regrets? Probably more times than you can remember. Another pearl of wisdom that has no doubt been passed down to you by those who have gone before is that you should ‘always be true to yourself’. Truth is that, although at times hard to live by, both these expressions make a lot of sense. Living in the moment and focussing on the positive are far better strategies than beating oneself up about past mistakes, and there’s absolutely no point in trying to be someone that you’re not! I’ve decided to get into the spirit of being true to myself by sharing a truth with you... I flunked high school. There, I said it! I went from being a top student, to failing a series of crucial exams. I lacked direction, made bad choices, hung out with bad influences and failed to focus on what really mattered at the time. Luckily, I managed to pick myself up, shake off the debris and go on to make a success of my life. I have enjoyed a challenging and satisfying career in publishing that has afforded me a good lifestyle and many opportunities to travel and to meet or work with some fantastic people. However, my earlier experiences did leave me with a regret or two, and they go something like this: I wish I had embraced that precious (and short – in the big scheme of things) time at school. I wish I had applied myself to the best of my ability and run with every opportunity presented to me. I wish I had walked out of there with a bunch of qualifications that would serve as a starting point in proving to the world just what I was capable of. That way I wouldn’t have had to work quite so hard over the last twenty years proving this from scratch. I hope this magazine will help you to do what I didn’t do by providing you with some inspiration to work towards, and some solid advice on how to get there. Use school/college/varsity as a springboard to catapult you into the future of your dreams. At the end of the day, doing yourself proud is what matters the most – the rest will happen naturally :-)


Sam Collins EDITOR: POST MATRIC post matric 2013

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contents 13

22 features


The Reluctant Celebrity

Randall Abrahams believes celebrity status doesn’t mean you’ve made it.

22 Make-or-Break Time

Top tips on how to study effectively and cruise those Matric exams.

29 Funding Made Easy

The plan of action for those who can’t afford tertiary education. s p i e s


Knowledge is Power

p h oto s :

s h u t t e r s to c k / D i e g o

C e r v o ;

J o

Why UWC’s Dean of Education believes in the power of love.


How to Get Ahead Without a Degree

Internships, private colleges and onthe-job training in the spotlight.

45 Desperately Seeking Degree?


Not prepared to compromise? How to play qualification catch-up and win.

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career junction



Here’s food for thought: The inside scoop on 34 different professions.

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entertain yourself


Must-Have Gadgets

The latest gadgets and gimmicks.

94 Getting Through First-Year Advice on surviving your first year of tertiary education.

96 Cram, Bam, No Thank You Ma’am

Read this before you resort to cramming whilst consuming copious quantities of energy drinks.

r u d d e n ;

j o

s p i e s ;

s u p p l i e d

79 Nursing Sister 81 Viticulture and Oenology 82 Sales and Customer Service 83 Fireman 84 Internal Auditor 87 Beautician 89 Epistemology 90 Aromatherapist 91 Videographer 92 Quantity Surveyor

p e t e r

p h oto s :

48 Crane Operator 50 Attorney 51 Caterer 52 Trainee Accountant 53 Model Booking Agent 54 Welder 55 Conservationist 56 Space Scientists 58 Journalist 59 Psychophysiologist 60 Audit Quantative Analyst 61 Optical Dispenser 63 Voter Registration 64 Security Supervisor 65 Graphic Designer 66 Media Production Manager 68 Navigation Officer 69 Small Business Owner 71 Senior Finance Manager 72 NGO Worker 74 SPCA Inspector 75 Senior Administrative Specialist 77 Chief Financial Officer 78 Jewellery Designer


WIN A SONY PS3 OR ONE OF ELEVEN HAMPERS Stand a chance to win a Sony PS3 12GB console, or one of eleven Sony PlayStation hampers. Each hamper consists of a PlayStation cap, keyring, lanyard, t-shirt and Sackboy figurine.

©2012 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.


S U P P L I E D ;



HOW TO ENTER SMS the name of the province you live in, followed by your age, followed by the name of the school where you got your copy of Post Matric to 34009. EXAMPLE: ‘WESTERN CAPE 18 LANGA SECONDARY’. If you did not get your copy from school, SMS the relationship of the person from whom you got your copy – for example, ‘WESTERN CAPE 15 BROTHER’ or ‘WESTERN CAPE 17 FRIEND’.


COMPETITION RULES: Cost per SMS is R2. Free SMS’s do not apply. Competition closes 31 August 2013. You may enter as many times as you like. By entering the competition you consent to receiving electronic information regarding Post Matric or other further education or career offerings. post matric 2013

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tech essentials Headphones Monster Inspiration The Monster logo on a pair of Beats By Dr Dre headphones is the company that developed them. Now Dre and Monster have gone separate ways, but Monster’s range is none the poorer. This over-ear set features active noise-cancelling, for when you really need to blank out the rowdy parties next door. The ControlTalk cable switch controls volume/tracks. R2999

Gotta have Tech whizz Neil Gardiner sniffs out the latest and greatest gadgets guaranteed to put a smile on your dial... Music player iPod Nano The legendary iPod changed the way the world listens to music and this is the seventh generation of the slim but powerful Nano. Nothing new on the outside, really, but the interface is slicker than ever before. There’s an FM radio and a video player, and at last, a decent-sounding set of earphones. R1800

Speaker Nixon Blaster wireless Even though there are tons of personal speakers around, you can drastically cut your shopping list to one with the Blaster – yet another sick product from Nixon. Weatherproof – tick. Wireless (Bluetooth) – tick. 15-hour battery life – tick. Charges up your phone – tick. Pumps – tick. Expected July. Price TBA

Smartphone Sony Xperia Go There’s nothing spectacular about the spec on this midrange smartphone – dual-core chip, 3.5” display and XMP sensor with LED flash. That is till you fall in the pool, or dip it in a draft of beer. It’s certified water-resistant at 1.5m for 30 minutes and pretty tough too. A bit clumsy? This is your phone. Price dependent on contract

p h oto s : s u p p l i e d

Fitness watch Tom Tom Nike Plus You know what they say. “Leave school and put on 5kg.” Running is the purest form of exercise and a short burn four times a week will keep you in good nick. To relieve the boredom, keep track of your run times and distances with this watch and join Nike’s huge online community to compare or compete en route. Loving the ‘slap for light’ feature. R1900,

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Randall Abrahams insists that success should be measured in results, not in tabloid headlines – and advises ‘just getting on with it’ when faced with a daunting challenge.


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w o r d s :

c h r i s t i n a

p h oto s :

j o

s p i e s .


k e n n e r dy;

inspirational people

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PRIORITY SKILLS BURSARIES 2014 The South African government is committed to halving poverty and unemployment levels by 2014. The critical shortage of professionals in the engineering and built environment fields is a ‘fatal constraint’ to achieving this goal. It has launched the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA) to overcome this constraint and achieve it’s goal. The Department of Transport and Public Works is calling on young people to help to make this vision a reality by studying for a degree or diploma in one of the following fields:

Civil Engineering: Mechanical Engineering: Architecture: Electrical Engineering: Land Surveying: Geomatics: Town and Regional Planning: Construction Management: Quantity Surveying: Transport Studies The vision of the Masakh’ iSizwe Centre of Excellence is to make available to the province, the country and the African continent cohorts of professionals in the engineering and built, environment fields critical for the growth of the economy. These professionals will be characterised by excellence in learning, citizenship and service. The purpose of the Bursary scheme is to provide selected South African citizens with sufficient financial aid to obtain skills and qualifications in the abovementioned fields of study, through full-time study at one of the Universities in the Western Cape . Bursaries are available from, but not limited to, the first year of study. Costs that may be covered include: academic fees, registration fees, examination fees, the cost of prescribed study material that apply at the various accredited Higher Education Institutions and, in exceptional cases, reasonable accommodation or transport expenses. Preference will be given to residents of the Western Cape who are: a) Financially disadvantaged b) Women c) Persons who permanently reside in rural areas The successful candidates will be required to enter into legally binding agreements with the Department

which require service commitments during, and upon completion of their studies. APPLICATION Bursary application forms are available at the Higher Education Institutions of the Western Cape, or may be obtained by written or telephonic request to: The Bursary Manager Masakh’ iSizwe Centre of Excellence Department of Transport and Public Works Private Bag X 9185 Cape Town, 8000 E-mail:, Telephone: (021) 483 9545 Facsimile: (021) 483 2615 Or download from our website Completed application forms should be directed to the above-mentioned address by no later than 30 September 2013. No late applications will be considered. Prospective students must be available on short notice for an interview should it be deemed necessary.


inspirational people

ot h e r

p h oto s :

G a l lo

I m a g e s / R a p p o r t/ C h r i s t i a a n

Kot z e ;

B e e l d / D e n z i l

M a r e g e l e


o you have to be a ‘Mr Nasty’ to clamber up the corporate ladder? Certainly not, according to music industry executive and Idols judge Randall Abrahams – but it helps to have a clear vision of what you need to accomplish and then zero in on that goal with single-minded determination. In the case of M-Net and Mzansi Magic’s reality talent-search programme Idols, that goal is simply to find a commercially viable pop artist from the thousands of starry-eyed wannabes who audition every year. If you’re the big boss of the South African Music Awards, the goal is to ensure a professional, entertaining and incident-free event that effectively showcases local music. And as managing director of Universal Music South Africa, the goal is to shepherd the record company towards profitability and sustainability in a shape-shifting music industry. It’s crucial to keep your eye on the ball and persistently dribble towards the goalposts, Abrahams believes. As he points out: ‘No one remembers the runner-up team in the World Cup.’ Most South Africans know Abrahams as a nononsense entertainment industry guru with an encyclopaedic knowledge of music and an uncanny ability to sort the promising wheat from the no-hoper chaff. In fact, over the years his often uncompromising style has ruffled the feathers of more than a few quivering Idols hopefuls who truly believed they had what it takes to be the country’s next music superstar – but whose hideous caterwauling should really have been confined to the shower, if anywhere at all. One only has to recall his pained expressions and winces upon hearing yet another excruciating mangling of Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly to realise that Abrahams is not on the programme to massage fragile egos and give entrants false hope – show business is a business, after all. Chatting to him at his office at Universal Music in Sandton is not an easy exercise. Abrahams is a busy man, juggling various electronic gadgets and apologising for having to interrupt the interview to take an important phone call all the way from

Tokyo. One gets the impression there are a zillion things whizzing through his mind simultaneously, but that he actually thrives on keeping several balls suspended in the air at the same time. This is the stone-cold reality behind every successful individual: you have to work hard. There’s no getting around it. Success – whether you define it using the currency of personal From bottom left: SA Idols judges Abrahams and Dave Thompson with American and British Pop Idol judge Simon Cowell in 2002; Randall with Gareth Cliff and Mara Louw in 2009.

if we find our own gangnam style, we won’t have to worry achievements or financial affluence – is very seldom a matter of sheer dumb luck.


n Abrahams’ case, it’s been a long journey to get where he is today, and an eventful one at that. Interestingly, he studied neither music nor business at varsity – which just goes to show that you needn’t be boxed in or held back by your chosen study direction, which can serve as a launching pad to other, more fulfilling prospects. The career options were pretty limited for a child growing up in Lansdowne on the Cape Flats in the turbulent 1980s. For this self-confessed ‘music geek’ who was hooked on listening to radio chart shows, there were only dreams of post matric 2013

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inspirational people

being a pop star a la Elvis Presley, his hero. ‘I was very involved in politics at the time, and went to study political science in order to study something,’ he relates. ‘Things have markedly changed today, but when I was young there were so few things you could do.’ While enrolled at the University of Cape Town, the young student found himself spending more time at the campus radio station than in class. Music, that alluring mistress, was beckoning him with her irresistible siren call, but it was only when his friend Mark Gillman clinched a job a popular station Good Hope FM that it dawned on Abrahams that his obsession could actually turn into a viable career. His first job was behind the scenes at GHFM, diligently learning the ropes in all disciplines including the programming of music, leading to his rapid elevation to station manager by the time he hit his mid-20s. But having such a lofty position of responsibility thrust on him at a young age didn’t daunt him in the least: ‘It was a case of “just do it” … you don’t sit around too long contemplating it,’ he says matter-of-factly. He was thrown into deep water and had to learn how to swim – fast. A method that’s often the best way of learning. Since that early career breakthrough, Abrahams has gone on to hold several influential positions in the music and marketing industries, including helping propel youth radio station YFM to success after it launched in the late 1990s. Then, as head of commercial radio at the SABC, he served as a ‘change agent’ at a number of major radio stations – rolling up his sleeves and overhauling them, a job that probably didn’t earn him many Mr Popularity awards, given people’s innate resistance to wholesale change. But the proof of the pudding was most definitely in the eating: improved financial results and awardwinning marketing campaigns. He brought this transformational approach to the South African Music Awards last year as CEO, reviving the brand’s image after it had become somewhat tarnished in preceding years. He believes the awards are now back on course as a powerful showcase and marketing tool for South African music, with a whopping R290 million worth of public relations value generated in the year 2012 alone. After taking up the job heading up Universal’s sub-Saharan operations, he retreated into the more behind-the-scenes role of chairing the

supervisory committee of the SAMAs, but remains committed to helping the country’s flagship music awards event flourish. He has also served on the board of the Advertising Standards Authority and chaired the National Broadcasting Association of South Africa. Abrahams is keen to dispel any illusion that his job is a ritzy, glitzy one. ‘People think [being in the music business] is overwhelmingly glamorous. Not to take the shine off it – it’s not the worst job in the world – but it’s results-based, just like any other job. You do deals, you have records that are and are not successful. It’s a great business, but it’s about getting results – and the higher up the chain you are, the more results-based it is.’


t the moment, the global music industry is faced with multiple upheavals and challenges, but the South African market is not an exact replica of its international counterparts and has its own quirks and peculiarities. For example, even though iTunes and other digital music download platforms are available here, the market for physical CDs is still quite robust. If only the music business were simply about churning out hit records! It’s sadly not as straightforward as that, Abrahams says. ‘It’s about careful assessment and ongoing management of

career tips from ‘Mr Nasty’ ★ As much as you need an academic qualification, you also need a degree of will to get where you want to go. ★ Know your strengths and weaknesses, which will guide you in how to assess and act in certain situations. ★ You will be judged on your results, so it’s important to have a vision and outcomes in your head. ★ Keep your eye on the goal and

keep pushing until you are successful. ★ Be realistic. I may have had the desire to be in a band, but I don’t think I’m good enough to have made it. ★ Have selfdiscipline and staying power in what you choose to do. Bruce Springsteen’s first two albums flopped, and look where he is today. ★ Stick to the knitting, and you’ll soon learn what you need to.

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inspirational people

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Randall reveals all ★ Randall Abrahams is an Elvis nut (‘I’m more than a fan’) and has visited Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, on three occasions. One of the few decorations he allows himself in his spartan office at Universal is an Elvis wall clock. ★ He enjoys books, but seldom has time to read. This year he has been reading biographies of Bruce Springsteen, James Brown and Russ Meyer.

a n d Yo u I m a g e s / G a l lo

You need will and drive to succeed, he insists: ‘Talent is never enough.’ And, of course, it helps to have ‘ruthlessness in spades’, he says, at least partially tongue in cheek, before adding: ‘But I think you can be a bloody-minded softie.’ This, of course, brings us to his reputation of being a notoriously tough nut to crack. Abrahams feigns surprise, saying he thinks his approach has softened over the years. ‘They don’t still call me Mr Nasty, do they?’ He permits himself a glimmer of a smile as the interview draws to an end: ‘I’ve reinvented myself – I’m soft and fuzzy now!’

p h oto s :

★ He seldom listens to music for fun – he needs to enter into a ‘serious engagement’ with any given album, finding out who played on it and delving with almost forensic zeal into its history and associated trivia.

H u i s g e n o ot/ M e d i a 2 4

★ He absolutely loves biscuits.

ot h e r

change… but if we find our own Gangnam Style, we won’t have to worry!’ As for Idols, it’s also hard work, he says: you have to hone your judging ability and instincts, be entertaining for a television audience and strive to be honest and fair. At the end of the day, it’s also just a job – albeit a high-profile one. That’s Abrahams the reluctant celebrity talking. He’s clearly not in it for the fame, the parties and the air kissing: he takes his multiple roles in the South African entertainment arena very seriously. He approaches what he does from a business point of view, not for vanity or other egotistical reasons. For him, fame and success are not joined at the hip. As his idol, Elvis, said in 1972: ‘The image is one thing and the human being is another… it’s very hard to live up to an image.’ Famously guarded about his private life, he somehow manages to keep personal details close to his chest – a rare accomplishment in today’s celebrity-obsessed society. But ask him about music and his face lights up. That’s his comfort zone, his haven. It’s one thing to have dreams, but Abrahams believes it’s sensible to complement them with a healthy dose of realism; not everyone can be the next Lady Gaga or Usher, but you can hit dizzying heights in other areas if you correctly identify your strengths and talents. He, for example, loves music and has a good business brain, and has combined his passion with his aptitude to great effect.

study guide

Make or



The countdown has begun and the clock is ticking as the ‘biggie’ looms on the horizon. Once you’ve got Matric under your belt, you can saddle up and ride off into your very own sunset.


preparation and sound study techniques are vital when it comes to optimum performance during those allimportant exams. Studying is a technical skill and, like any skill, the more you practice the better you become. Being motivated is an important aspect of studying, and this means really knowing what you want out of life – and

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what marks you need to get it. Christine Battersby of Yearn 2 Learn – a Cape Town based company that runs study workshops – suggests avoiding relying too heavily on reading and reading over the work, and setting realistic goals for yourself such as an improvement of 10% on your next exam. Here are some more tips from the experts…

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t e x t:

Ta r a

L e r n e r ;

p h oto :

s h u t t e r s to c k / D i e g o

C e r v o

study guide SIX TOP STUDY TIPS sitting pretty Have a dedicated study space that is clean, organised and well lit. This can be a desk in your room, at the local library or even a space at a relative’s house. Use a chair that supports your back and avoid lying on your bed. It’s important not to have distractions, such as TV or background music, except perhaps classical baroque music (Bach, Vivaldi and Handel), which is said to help by stimulating the parts of the brain dealing with memory. fuel 2 brain Diet plays an important role in certain brain functions such as concentration and memory. ‘Green leafy vegetables, oily fish, berries, oats, nuts and seeds, and green tea are recognised as “brain foods” that boost functioning in these areas,’ says dietician Kelly Lynch. ‘It’s also important to avoid sugar, caffeine and junk food.’ Consuming small, frequent meals will keep your energy levels up, and drinking plenty of water will prevent you from feeling sluggish. enough sleep 3 get Ensuring adequate sleep will help ensure that your brain is functioning optimally. ‘Staying up all night to cram leads to anxiety and consequently not writing at your best. The thinking part of your brain shuts down with too much stress and fatigue,’ says Judi Kurgan, a literacy and educational consultant. Getting regular exercise ensures that your body and brain are getting plenty of oxygen. prepared 4 be Good studying starts before and in the classroom. ‘Come to


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class prepared,’ says Judi. ‘Arrive knowing what you don’t know, so you can ask relevant questions. Your number one job is to be actively present at school. This means being focused, asking questions and taking effective notes in class.’ all in the timing 5 With teachers piling on homework and scheduling tests, it can be difficult to stay on top of things. Having a daily and weekly ‘to do’ list and noting important events on a calendar will help you to set a realistic

timetable. It’s also valuable to take advantage of the time of day when you work the most effectively. Keep your brain alert by studying in short intervals and taking breaks. We tend to remember more at the beginning and end of a study session, so it’s better to study for about 30 minutes, then take a 5 minute break and start again, rather than study for one hour straight. take note 6 Good note taking is a skill. Some universities actually offer courses on how to take notes. One of the methods taught is Cornell Notes (see info bubble above for tips on how to make them). It is still a good idea to make notes in your own words, even if your teacher has given you handout notes already.

p h oto :

Draw a vertical line down a page (larger side to left). Write the basic info being relayed (not every word), then add a keyword on the right. To revise, cover the left so that only the keywords are showing. Now see how much you can recall.

s h u t t e r s to c k / m a x i k

Making Cornell notes…


Improve your understanding

tress, th ’t s


SQ3R r formu the

Rev iew


Review, review, review

Concept mapping (also referred to as mind mapping or spider diagrams) is a visual way of presenting information that facilitates a deeper understanding. The nonlinear fashion of concept mapping encourages the righthand side of your brain to be more involved in the learning process, especially if you use colour and shapes. When the whole brain is working on something you will achieve a greater understanding, and be able to tap into more creative ways of looking at things because it will be easier to see how ideas interrelate. Concept maps also help you to organise your thoughts, see the important issues, communicate complex information, and are easy to recall, which makes them perfect for note-taking and reviewing purposes.

Unless you were blessed with a photographic memory, when you learn something new you’ll probably only remember that concept or information for a day or so before the memory starts to fade away. To take something from your short-term memory and actively commit it to your longterm memory takes work. Regular reviewing means that you don’t have to spend time relearning information or cramming the night before exams. Your first review should happen as soon as possible on the day of learning, the next review a day later, then one week later, then one month later and then every few months. Avoid simply re-reading your material. To really test yourself, start by writing out your notes or concept map from memory, then see if you’ve left anything out. Another great

Without looking at the book, try to remember the key concepts.

l cal re

Look through the book and take note of what you didn’t remember.

Carefully read the contents, make notes, take time to understand the concepts.


Pick out the key components.

Do n

Sur vey

Ask yourself: How does this relate to what I’ve been studying?

sn’t ano is i

‘The better you understand something, the easier you will be able to learn it and recall it,’ advises Judi. ‘By understanding and knowing how to apply the knowledge, you’ll know how to answer more abstract questions.’ ACTIVE READING makes sure that you make the most of your reading time. This involves engaging in the text, mainly by asking questions, and using a review component to make sure the info sticks in your brain. There are many methods to choose from, such as SQ3R and RWCSR (Read, Write, Cover, Say, Review). See the diagram graphic to the right for how to use the SQ3R technique.

way of reviewing is as part of a study group. Discussing concepts with friends can provide you with new ways of looking at things, and being able to teach a concept to someone is evidence that you truly understand it yourself. One of the best ways to prepare for exams is to write exams from previous years. Old exams are readily available online. Don’t just look over them and say ‘yeah, I know that’. Write them from memory within a time limit, and then ask your teacher to mark your work. Take note of how much each section is worth and how much time you should allocate to it on exam day.


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study guide

Dealing with exam nerves

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‘Remember that your best IS good enough,’ says Bruce. ‘There is a huge amount of stress involved, but good exam results shouldn’t come at the expense of overall health and well-being.’ Don’t forget to talk to your school counsellor for more ideas on how to tackle anxiety issues.

20% In the US, an estimated 5% to 20% of adolescents suffer from an anxiety disorder, with test anxiety high up on the list.

l a b o r ato r y

some deep breathing) before you begin writing. ★ Carefully read through all the questions first. ★ To get your brain thinking, start off with a few easier questions and use concept mapping to assist you.

p h oto : P h oto

Many people suffer from exam anxiety, but there are steps you can take to try and counter a bad case of the nerves. ‘Positive thinking is a good way to deal with anxiety,’ suggests high school councellor Tania Bruce. You may find yourself having self-defeating thoughts like, ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I’m going to fail’. Replace these with realistic, believable phrases like ‘I’m going to do the best I can’. Here are some last minute tips to help beat the nerves: ★ Arrive at your exam early and be prepared. ★ Take a moment to relax (do

funding fundi

Funding made easy Don’t let empty pockets pull the plug on your career dreams – savvy students can score financial aid in a number of ways.

i l l u s t r at i o n s : dÁnh cho


Maluta Nnditshedzeni hails from a remote rural village in Limpopo. As the fifth of six children, he despaired of ever having the money to fulfil his dream of studying science at university – until he obtained a student loan. That was back in 1998, and today Eric not only has a BSc in Physics and Mathematics and an Honours degree, but also went on to attain his masters in renewable energy and, two years ago, his doctorate through the University of Bath in England on a much sought-after Ford Foundation fellowship. All of this was made possible by an initial student loan from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) – and because Eric excelled academically, he only had to pay back 60% of the amount. The message? Never give up on your dreams. You may be

broke, but as long as you persist and put in the hard yards, you can strike gold. Many matriculants (not to mention their parents) hit a downer when they see what universities and private colleges are charging – up to R50 000 for first-year tuition fees alone. Clearly, obtaining a tertiary education is not cheap, but in today’s tough job market, having a degree or diploma in hand could pay off handsomely. That’s why high costs shouldn’t put you off signing up to study towards your dream career – especially when you have the marks, the will, the drive and the determination to succeed, and the only puzzle piece missing is the cash. So, don’t lock yourself in your room with your empty piggy bank and resign yourself to living at your parents’ place forever – get out there and start

applying for any and every grant you can find! It’s important to remember, though, that funding is often a two-way street between you and your benefactor, and is not to be undertaken lightly. You need to be serious about your study path and completely committed to repaying your debt or fulfilling any conditions, academic or otherwise. Pause and ask yourself whether your study course is a) suited to your abilities and personality, b) likely to result in a job and c) in demand in the marketplace. It’s not advisable to study for the sake of getting any qualification – and it could be a costly mistake. With bursaries, remember that the early bird catches the golden worm. Apply for funding several months before you write your Matric exams. You ideally want to be at the front of the queue, not bringing up the rear. Hop on the internet or go to your local library to research who is offering financial assistance to students. Start phoning, e-mailing and writing letters – and don’t forget to follow up on your applications. post matric 2013

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The national pass rate of SA’s 2012 matrics – affectionately known as the “born frees”, since most were born at the dawn of democracy in 1994 – was 73.9%. A total of 26.6% qualified to study at university, and 27.3% to study towards a diploma. NB: A university pass does NOT guarantee you a place at a university. The country’s 23 universities can only accommodate a fraction of those who are eligible for bachelor’s studies. Even though South Africa should have two new universities by 2014 – in Nelspruit and Kimberley – the demand for places will still outstrip the availability. South Africa’s unemployment rate stood at about 24.9% at the end of 2012. The National Treasury estimates that an alarming 42% of citizens under 30 are unemployed, compared with fewer than 17% of adults over 30. So if you’re young, you have a far lower chance of getting a job. Economist Mike Schussler, quoted by Business Day, said that if you don’t have a Matric, your chances of being unemployed are as high as 36%. Those with Matric have a 25% likelihood of not getting a job. Significantly, he estimated that only 7% of degree graduates are unemployed. And if you are an artisan with a trade, there’s only a 12% chance that you won’t find work.

According to Independent Online, first-year students at the Durban University of Technology could expect to pay tuition fees of between R19 000 and R30 000 in 2013 – and that’s before the extra Randelas needed for digs, grub, wheels, textbooks and socialising! If you wanted to study at the University of the Witwatersrand, you would be paying between R20 000 (as a first-year education student) and R43 000 (for first-year medicine), with res accommodation ranging from R18 000 (sharing a room and without meals) to R37 000 (for a private room, with meals). So you could be looking at R80 000 a year! Be wary of bogus fly-by-night colleges that exploit the poor and the desperate. Before you hand over any moola, check with the Department of Education that the institution is registered.

A bursary is a study grant that does not need to be repaid – unless you fail. There may be conditions attached too, so do your research. A bursary is based more on financial need, while a scholarship is usually merit-based (artistic, academic or sporting ability). It’s important to take the right subjects in Grade 10 that will propel you in your chosen career direction. Don’t just take the easiest subjects! Find out well in advance what the minimum admission

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requirements are for the course you want to follow. Then don’t just meet those standards, but exceed them. Even if you scrape together enough points to allow you entrance, popular courses are usually oversubscribed and you could be denied a place. Similarly, ask companies and academic institutions what marks you need to qualify for a bursary. Again, strive to surpass those. Attend the open day(s) of universities and colleges. Apply early! Submit your funding applications early in your matric year. The closing date can be as early as 12 months in advance.



TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS Apply for a bursary at the university or college where you intend to study. Visit, e-mail or phone their financial aid office well in advance to find out more. Many of these bursaries are only open to South African citizens. Once you are enrolled at university, you may also qualify for an academic merit award based on your results during your first year of study. Some universities also offer partial bursaries for art, cultural, sporting or leadership achievements at school. THE PRIVATE SECTOR Many companies – particularly those operating in the scarce and critical skills sectors, such as mining and engineering – award contract bursaries, usually with conditions such as: 1) You have to pass your subjects – otherwise you must pay for the courses you fail; 2) You will be contractually bound to work at the company for a specified number of years after completing your studies; and, 3) You will be required to study in a field specified by the company (e.g. BCom Accounting, BSc Engineering). Companies that award bursaries include: Spoornet, Transnet, Sasol, Absa, Anglo American, Gold Fields, Anglo Platinum, Eskom, Sasol, Iscor, De Beers, Edgars, SA Breweries, Harmony, Mintek, AECI, Engen, Group 5, Murray & Roberts, PPC, the SA Institute of Race Relations, the SA Weather Service, Vodacom and Old Mutual. Eduloan is a private company that provides loans to worthy students whose parents are permanently employed. Visit www. for more information on loans available.

funding fundi


GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS Approach your local municipality, or the provincial or national government department relevant to your studies – they often have a number of bursaries up for grabs. THE NATIONAL STUDENT FINANCIAL AID SCHEME (NSFAS) If you can’t afford to pay for your studies, try the Department of Higher Education’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme. NSFAS awards study loans and bursaries to financially needy South African undergraduate students who also show promise. In its 21 years of existence, NSFAS has helped almost a million students and granted over R25 billion in loans. The scheme offers study loans at a low interest rate (currently 5.2%), without the need for surety, and you only have to begin your repayments once you are earning an annual salary of R30 000. You do, however, need to prove that your household income is less than R122 000 a year. Loans are awarded for studies at public universities or further education and training (FET)

colleges, but not private colleges. If you study hard and pass all your courses, you could have up to 40% of your NSFAS loan converted into a bursary. But if you drop out, you’ll have to repay the entire bang-shoot. NSFAS also administers bursary funds for aspiring teachers, social workers and those studying in scarce-skills disciplines, and FET college bursaries. Contact NSFAS at 0860 NSFAS (067327) or 021 763 3232, SMS 32261 or write to Private Bag X1, Plumstead 7801, South Africa. You can also e-mail za or visit STUDY WHILE YOU WORK If you’re working, you may be able to get your employer to pay for your studies. Larger employers have to pay a skills development levy, which goes to Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and the Skills Development Fund. These monies are available to finance the training of a company’s own employees. Employers can claim a SARS refund if they train their workers. So, if you want to study through your company – as

Once you know what you want, set your sights high. Apply and keep on applying until you find the funder that’s right for you. Remember the saying: where there’s a will, there’s always a way.

long as it is related to your job – you could get your tuition paid for. BANK LOANS The major banks all offer student loans, to be repaid over a fixed term with interest. You will need someone to sign surety for you. South African citizens and nonSouth Africans with valid study permits can apply for these study loans, which can be taken out for studies at a university, FET college or SA Qualifications Authorityaccredited private institution. CONTACT THE BIG FOUR Standard Bank 0860 123 000, First National Bank 0860 100 762, ABSA 0860 100 372, Nedbank 0860 555 111,

HANDY ONLINE RESOURCES or post matric 2013

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KNOWLEDGE Some people are living proof that education is the key to life, and Zubeida Desai is one of them.


ith enough love and a supply of good books, one can achieve anything,’ declares UWC’s enigmatic Dean of Education at the commencement of our interview. And judging from Zubeida Desai’s easy smile and twinkling eyes, it would appear that she hasn’t suffered from a lack of either. Indeed, in her case a diet of love and literature must have staved off the ageing effects of time, for

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although she readily admits to her age – she turned 62 in April – she doesn’t look a day past fifty. But her petite frame and youthful looks belie the maturity of this learned woman, a South African of Indian heritage who has lived a full and challenging life; a journey that’s been peppered with adversity and triumph. Zubeida’s story starts in Salt River, Cape Town. There were18 family members sharing the two-

is power bedroomed house she called home for 36 years of her life. Of the 18 family members, ten have since passed away, but the eight that are left, along with their offspring, are still a tightknit group who meet every Saturday, come rain or shine. ‘Ironically, the renovated house now has four bedrooms, with only two people living in it,’ Zubeida quips. Her mother and father were born in India, moving to South Africa before they had children. ‘My mother never attended school, and could speak little English, so I was her interpreter wherever she went,’ she recalls. ‘But even though my parents didn’t receive a good education themselves, above all else they wanted their kids to be educated. They believed education was the key to a bright future.’ ‘We had few clothes and no pocket money, but I don’t remember ever going hungry, I just know that we were really happy. Even though we grew up in difficult circumstances, the love that we experienced as a family is the one thing that stands out for me. And look how many successful people emerged out of that cramped little house: my one sister is a paediatric oncologist, the other a high school teacher, two cousins are nursing sisters, there’s a headmistress, and a judge too. Living proof of the power of love, combined with a good education!’ Zubeida started her lifetime of learning at a Methodist church school in Salt River and knew she wanted to be a teacher even then, playing “teacher teacher” with her siblings whenever she got the chance. ‘My schooling was positive on the whole, but I had one bad experience that has stayed with me to this day. It involved a teacher in Standard 3 who insulted me deeply. I was wearing a jersey that was torn at the elbow (as I mentioned, we didn’t have many clothes) and the teacher mocked me in front of the class, saying “Look at poor Desai, moths have eaten her jersey”. I vowed then that when I was a teacher, I would never insult a pupil of mine. But overall I have fond memories and received a good education. My high school, Trafalgar, was quite a political school, so my interest in politics was sparked back then, and fuelled by my family.’ As a child, Zubeida read voraciously, devouring

inspirational people

whatever books she could get her hands on. Although there was no library in the area, a mobile library would visit fortnightly, and she and her cousin would take out the maximum allocation of three books each and then swap them over. ‘That early love of reading is still very much there,’ she professes. ‘Reading a novel is such a treat for me. I spend so much time reading workrelated documents that a good dose of fiction is my ultimate indulgence!’ After matriculating, Zubeida hit her first real hurdle when she was refused permission to study

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I was expected to go to the ‘Indian University’ in Durban to study, but I didn’t want to. towards a degree at the University of Cape Town because of her classification as an Indian. ‘I was expected to go to the “Indian University” in Durban to study, but I didn’t want to. I decided to do a correspondence degree through London University instead. I was fortunate to obtain a bursary from the South African Committee for Higher Education. They also provided me with tutors from the University of Cape Town in all the subjects I was taking. It was a very lonely period though as I had very little interaction with other students and that was difficult.’ ‘In 1976, I sat my final BA exam, and was expected to write nine papers in one week. Nine! I was taking strain, as I had no private space in which to study. But again, help was at hand when the director of SACHED, Lindy Wilson, took me under her wing and let me stay at her family home in Rondebosch for three months. They were so kind to me and I am still in touch to this day.’ On completion of her BA, she applied to do a teaching Diploma, but again was turned down by UCT, so ended up working as an unqualified teacher while completing the Diploma part-time through UNISA. Zubeida’s teaching career kicked off at Arcadia High in Bonteheuwel, where she taught for two years. She recalls her time there as fraught with

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drama and fights with the principal; a man she claims tried to control and bully the teachers. Boldly, she started a school film society that was open to black students – the first of its kind. ‘Whenever I wanted to screen a film after school, he [the principal] would call a staff meeting to prevent me from doing so,’ she recalls. ‘One day I simply refused to attend, so he came bursting into the film screening and switched all the lights on. I ruffled a few tail feathers there! I wasn’t surprised when at the end of the two years of my temporary teaching post, I was told there was no longer a position for me!’

During her second year at Westridge, Zubeida applied for a British Council scholarship to do her Masters in Applied Linguistics in London. She was accepted and headed overseas in August of ’87. A student again, she delighted in the experience of studying at varsity full-time for the first time in her life, and in 1988 completed her master’s dissertation entitled “Towards a language policy for a post-apartheid South Africa”.


even years spent teaching at Cathkin High in Heideveld followed; years that she says she enjoyed immensely, most especially for the sense of community amongst the staff. The 1985 student uprising took place during that time, and she and five other teachers were suspended without pay for supporting the students by refusing to proceed with the exams scheduled to go ahead, regardless of the fact that students had not been attending classes. Teachers at other schools soon followed in their footsteps. Zubeida took action, playing an instrumental role in establishing the Western Cape Teachers Union, a body that offered support to the striking teachers by providing funding. It was January of 1986 when the teachers finally won their case and were reinstated, with full back pay. Before the suspension had taken place, her desire to better herself had prompted her to apply for a promotion. Ironically, it was during the suspension period that she received word that she was now the Head of English at Westridge High School in Mitchells Plain.

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I LOVE SA BECAUSE… We are blessed with both beautiful physical space and interesting people. Some people get worn down by the challenges we face in this country, but for me life in South Africa is always exciting!


inspirational people

n returning to Cape Town in 1989, Zubeida took up an English lecturing post she had been offered by the Faculty of Education at UWC subject to completing her Masters. Teaching at a university was a new experience for her, and she described her first job there as a challenge that she grasped with both hands; A mantra that seems to be her theme tune in life. ‘UWC was a really vibrant place back then, and still is. My classes were big: I was solely responsible for 230 students and I remember spending many weekends sitting at home marking stacks of assignments.’ These days, Professor Desai’s role as Dean of the Education Faculty means her focus is on ensuring the provision of quality teacher education. She is the one ultimately responsible for what happens within the Faculty – in terms of teaching, research and community outreach: a lot of responsibility to carry. Yet despite shouldering that heavy load, Zubeida has somehow still found time to assist in the establishment of two major projects. Following on from her master’s research findings on the role that language policy can play in the learning process, the Dean applied her significant academic clout to the establishment of a project called LOITASA: the Language of Instruction in Tanzania and South Africa project. Under this Norwegian University funded project, participants from UWC, Oslo and Dar es Salaam looked into the challenges of mother tongue instruction in countries where, historically, a powerful language like English has dominated, as well as reflecting on the positive outcomes when the medium of instruction is a widely-known language. Eight books have since been published on the topic and as a result of the project, the teaching of mathematics and science subjects in the Xhosa medium have been extended from Grade 4 to Grade 6. Teaching materials have also been translated from English to Xhosa. Zubeida’s other passion for gender equality has lent weight to the establishment of the GEEP Project: Gender Equality, Education and Poverty in South Africa and Sudan. The project looks into what it’s like to be a young girl or boy in Sudan and South Africa and the respective challenges they face, examining what teachers in schools can do to help students to deal with issues such as gender violence.

‘Often young girls have no avenue or people to talk to about their problems and frustrations,’ says Zubeida. ‘Through talking they get a sense of how to address issues and learn not to bury painful experiences inside themselves and never realise their full potential. All young women have the right to forge a career for themselves without gender issues standing in the way.’ Through her involvement in these projects, Zubeida has travelled to many African countries, where her glimpses into the struggles taking place have given her a greater appreciation of what we have available at academic institutions like UWC, and generally as a country. She is clearly grateful for the opportunities her academic career has presented her with. ‘As I look back over the years, I remember all these amazing young people who have gone through my hands. One of the best parts of my job is when they comment on the role I have played in their lives. When they say that I cared about them and believed in them.’ ‘I know that I am known as a stern taskmistress because I expect a lot from people, and I certainly don’t expect less because of people’s difficult circumstances. In fact I once failed an English

I was He said I was so strict, worse than the whites!

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inspirational people student who then wrote a re-evaluation, and he failed again. He complained about me; he said that I was so strict, I was worse than the whites! But this young man could barely string a sentence together, and he wanted to be an English teacher,’ she says with a grimace. ‘I was thinking about the next generation when I failed him. It is important that teachers are qualified and know the subject they will be teaching, otherwise I am performing a disservice to society and perpetuating the cycle of poor education in this country.’

As the interview winds down, the Dean confesses that outside of her working world she is actually a bit of a rebel. ‘I won’t go into detail,’ she says, ‘but I do tend to challenge society’s norms and expectations, even when I don’t set out to.’ And there’s no doubt that this career-driven achiever would not have gotten where she is today had she always towed the line in a world that is often not as just as it should be.

some words of Wisdom from the dean n Get guidance about possibilities open to you and make sure you are studying towards something that excites you. Don’t choose a career you hate; you must love what you do to really succeed. n Whichever career you choose, try and excel. Once you give of your best, it is very difficult for anyone to retrench you! n Some advice to young women especially… Some teenagers think that finding a rich man will be the answer to their future security and happiness, but this is generally not the case. It is very important for young women to carve independent careers for themselves. Society has shown us that we can only depend on ourselves. n Don’t wait until you are divorced to attempt higher education! Start early. No-one can take a qualification away from you. Having said that, it is also never too late! n If you come from a background of poverty, never stop believing that there are opportunities out there. You are not alone. Look at ways that people can assist you. Don’t let the obstacles in your path paralyze you. n Don’t wait until the last minute to bring your problems to the attention of your mentors. If you articulate the problems early then people can help you overcome them. n You have to like yourself – only when you do will you then take yourself seriously.

If you would like to contact the Dean, please e-mail Professor Zubeida Desai at

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University of the Western Cape - The Faculty of Education B Ed (Bachelor of Education) If you are interested in a career in teaching with a solid foundation in the theory and practice of education, then UWC’s Faculty of Education invites you to apply for the B Ed programme. As a prospective student you will enroll for a four-year teacher education degree and make a selection from one of the following streams: Languages & Life Orientation; Languages & Mathematics; Languages & Social Sciences or Mathematics & Natural Sciences. The B Ed programme will provide you with a four-year teaching qualification and qualify you to teach in two learning areas within the Senior Phase (Grades 7 – 9).

The minimum admission requirement is: - A National Senior Certificate for Bachelor’s Degree study, as certified by Umalusi; - A score of no less than 33 points calculated according to the University’s approved points system;

Admission Requirements for each stream Languages and Life Orientation • Level 4 (50-59%) in English/Afrikaans or Xhosa (home language) OR • Level 5 (60-69%) in English/Afrikaans or Xhosa (first additional language) AND • Level 3(40-49%) in Another Language (home or first additional language) AND • Level 4 (50-59%) in Life Orientation AND • Level 3 (40-49%) in Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy Languages and Mathematics • Level 4 (50-59%) in English/Afrikaans or Xhosa (home language) OR • Level 5 (60-69%) in English/Afrikaans or Xhosa (first additional language) AND • Level 3 (40-49%) in Another Language (home or first additional language) AND • Level 4 (50-59%) in Mathematics OR • Level 6 (70-79%) in Mathematical Literacy

Languages and Social Sciences • Level 4 (50-59%) in English/Afrikaans or Xhosa (home language) OR • Level 5 (60-69%) in English/Afrikaans or Xhosa (first additional language) AND • Level 3(40-49%) in Another Language (home or first additional language) AND • Level 4 (50-59%) in History AND • Level 4 (50-59%) in Geography AND • Level 3 (40-49%) in Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy Mathematics and Natural Sciences • Level 4 (50-59%) in English/Afrikaans or Xhosa (home or first additional language) and • Level 3 (40-49%) in Another Language (home or first additional language) and • Level 4 (50-59%) in Mathematics OR • Level 6 (70-79%) in Mathematical Literacy AND • Level 4 (50-59%) in Life Sciences OR • Level 4 (50-59%) in Physical Sciences

Financial Assistance Students specialising in Xhosa, English, Mathematics or Natural Sciences, can apply for a Funza Lushaka Merit Bursary. The successful candidates will receive the bursary for a maximum of four years, providing that they pass every year. Bursaries are repayable by teaching at a state school funded by the Department of Education. Financial assistance is also available from the National Financial Aid Scheme for those who meet the requirements. Application forms can be completed online via the University’s website:

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explore your options

Down in the dumps because you couldn’t get into university? The good news is that a degree is not the be-all and end-all to ace it in life.

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you know that Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates, Apple legend Steve Jobs and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg all dropped out of university? While not everyone has the Midas touch and entrepreneurial spirit of these three modern business icons, it shows that you don’t necessarily need a degree to be successful. There are a few harsh realities facing South African matriculants, the first of which is that there are many more school-leavers with university exemption than there are places at universities. This has been borne out by the mad rush for places at some institutions after matric results are released – sometimes with tragic consequences. Recently, the Human Sciences Research Council estimated that only 15% of South African university students who start a degree end up finishing it. Most quit their studies in their first year – they either buckle under the workload or pressure or discover they’ve chosen the wrong course. Or, of course, they simply can’t afford to continue studying. The cost of university tuition is mounting, and is way beyond the reach of many young South Africans and their families. Plus, varsity is not for everyone – some bright youngsters may not be academically inclined, but have strong aptitudes in other areas. This means that tens of thousands of matriculants will have to look at alternatives should they wish to study further. Don’t believe the propaganda – university is not necessarily the Holy Grail of higher learning. If you don’t have a degree, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to end up as another unemployment statistic. Extremely valuable skills can be learned at private and FET colleges, or through apprenticeships and on-the-job

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workplace training. Consider this: many university graduates have degrees that aren’t in high demand in the workplace. They will probably find work, but they aren’t addressing South Africa’s critical skills shortage in certain sectors. In order for the country to accelerate its economic growth and create wealth and jobs, it needs more artisans, as well as certain categories of technical and professional workers. So, if you haven’t cracked a nod at university, don’t despair. Acquiring skills through other means shouldn’t be sneezed at – and, in fact, you may end up earning more money and enjoying more job security than your counterparts with their fancy degree scrolls! Here are some career-focused alternatives to university worth considering:

Private colleges

In academic terms, private colleges are positioned between high school and university level, and the entrance requirements are not as strict as they are for university programmes. There are hundreds of registered private colleges (including private FET colleges) in South Africa – but not all are above board. Don’t be taken for a ride by dodgy operators, or you may end up saddled with a worthless diploma or certificate. When applying at a college, make sure it is accredited by Umalusi on behalf of the Department of Higher Education and Training. This means that the college’s courses comply with industry standards. Also, be sure to check the NQF (National Qualifications Framework) level of your prospective qualification against the requirements of the marketplace. An NQF-registered grading means it is a nationally

recognised qualification. Some of the better-known private colleges, such as Boston, Damelin, Intec, City Varsity and Midrand Campus, have been going for a long time and have a solid track record of producing good, workplace-ready graduates. Independent colleges may be dedicated to, for example, nursing, fitness, business or media studies, while others offer broader and more general fields of study. What could be off-putting is that some charge rather steep fees – but this is because they do not receive government subsidies.

FET colleges/ Vocational training

Further Education and Training (FET) colleges equip students with a particular skill through jobspecific or occupational training. Students who qualify will obtain a certificate in a particular field that makes them highly employable. Such colleges are, however, often seen as a distasteful “last resort” of many school-leavers. In many cases this reputation is deserved, but just as often it’s unwarranted. It all depends on the college. Only private FET colleges have to apply to be officially accredited by Umalusi; public colleges are automatically accredited. Vocational and occupational training bears an unfortunate stigma, which must be dispelled if the workplace’s needs are to be met. In fact, Dr Blaze Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education and Training, declared 2013 “the year of the artisan” – so critical is the skills shortage in this sector of the country’s economy. There are a number of government-subsidised FET colleges in South Africa, often referred to as technical colleges. Many are public colleges, but there are also scores of private

explore your options institutions offering specialised education and skills geared towards a particular career. Some of these colleges require only a Grade 9 or Grade 10 certificate, making them accessible to the average would-be student. They also offer vocational instruction to high school-age children who are able to obtain the technical equivalent of a Matric. Some FET students may qualify for admission to a university of technology to continue their studies, making this a valuable bridge for those who still dream of going to varsity.

College Checklist Do your homework when selecting a college. MSC Business College has some tips for prospective students: Is it accredited? Can it

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produce a legitimate registration number? Does it offer diplomas and/ or certificates, and at what NQF level? What are the cost implications, and are there flexible payment options? Are there any hidden costs, such as study materials and registration fees? Does the college offer extracurricular activities to enhance your student life? What study resources – such as libraries, computers and internet – are available? Does it have a good reputation in the job market? Check out www.colleges. for a list of accredited and recommended colleges. Also try the South African Qualifications Authority website for info and careers advice –

Internships and on-the-job training

The value of education is immense, but in many cases there’s no substitute for good, old-fashioned on-the-job training. Such work gives you the practical street smarts to accompany any academic head smarts you may have accumulated. Several college and university courses require you to have workplace experience before you can qualify. This means that undergraduate students are placed in an employment situation for a defined period – often working for free, or for a small stipend. Interning is a win-win solution: the company gets the benefit of your labour and fresh ideas, and you gain valuable on-the-job experience and references to beef up your CV. Who knows – they may just ask you to stay at the end of it. Even if you aren’t studying, it’s worth approaching a business and asking if they have any cheap “grunt” work for you – be it running errands or making coffee. You’ll find that most companies

By undertaking an apprenticeship or internship you can gain valuable skills and exposure in your chosen field of work, maybe even securing a job at the end. will appreciate such initiative. Or consider volunteering at a local charity or small enterprise. At least you’ll gain experience – far better than moping around at home.

Apprenticeships and learnerships Some companies offer learnerships, providing the opportunity to work while studying and training towards a qualification. Combining theoretical and practical components, these occupational learnerships are aimed at addressing the specific needs of the labour market. Apprenticeships fall into this category. According to the Careers Portal website (, a trade apprenticeship combines workplace and formal learning, and is based on an agreement between the individual who wants to learn the skill and the employer who needs a skilled worker – another win-win situation. Because of South Africa’s shortage of skilled tradespeople, “appies” are in hot demand and can ultimately command high salaries. So don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! An apprenticeship can last between two and four years. Most of it involves the apprentice learning practical skills on-site under the supervision of a qualified tradesman. The remainder entails learning the theoretical and technical aspects of the chosen trade. There are several pluses to this option: you earn a salary while learning, you are taught valuable skills in a practical environment, and you are virtually assured of a job at the end of it. post matric 2013

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get back on track

Desperately seeking a degree

Didn’t quite cut the grade in matric? Don’t despair. Your qualification catch-up questions answered.


I haven’t been able to get into the degree course I have my heart set on. Is it possible to improve my marks?

A Yes, it is possible. First prize is to go back to the high school where you wrote your matric and re-register to take those subjects, or – as soon as possible after receiving your results – apply to your district or regional education department office to write a supplementary exam. For the latter, you’ll have to provide documentary evidence that you qualified to be admitted to a higher education institution, but were one requirement short of fulfilling its standards. Another alternative is to redo certain subjects through an institution such as a college. There, you would need to enrol for an NQF Level 4 qualification, which is the academic equivalent of Grade 12.



How do I know if the college I want to rewrite subjects through is legit? A It’s absolutely critical to find out whether the Further Education and Training College is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training and the South African Qualifications Authority.

Who can I contact to find out about options for rewriting some or all of my matric subjects?

A Contact your school, the Matriculation Board, Umalusi ( or the Department of Higher Education and Training ( for a list of accredited colleges.


What if I chose the incorrect subjects in Grade 10 for entry to a particular degree course, and want to choose new subjects post-matric? Such as ditching Maths Literacy and doing Mathematics? A There will probably be certain conditions and criteria attached, but it is possible. You may be required to complete Grades 10, 11 and 12 in that particular subject.


Do I have to go through the hassle of wasting an entire year redoing subjects in order to get better marks, obtain university entrance or upgrade my pass level?

A Not necessarily. You may be able to complete a bridging course that will allow you easier entrance into your degree of choice. Find out from the institution you applied to whether they offer such courses, and if you are eligible.


Can I register to redo certain matric subjects part-time?

A Yes, many colleges offer this possibility. You can also complete them via a correspondence course or through distance learning.



What if my matric marks weren’t good enough for me to study at the time, but I’ve since gone and obtained work experience in my chosen field? If I want to attend university now, do I still need to go back to school and study in order to bump up my marks? A The good news is that you can apply to skip that step under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme. You can approach Higher Education South Africa za or a university with a copy of your Matric certificate, making sure to include any experience and training you have undergone that may be relevant. They will evaluate your application, see if you have met the necessary learning outcomes and may provide you with a certificate that recognises your prior learning.

Can I wait a few years after matric and then go and study, even with my low marks?

A Yes. If you are 23 and older, you would be regarded as a “mature student” and many academic institutions will accept you on a course even if your original matric marks prevented you from studying at the time. post matric 2013

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career junction

waiting for that light bulb moment? scan our career ideas for inspiration

building a bright future Zoliswa Gila


Why did you choose to do this job?

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what traits does a crane operator need to possess?

Is experience as important as training?

It’s not an easy job. People don’t understand that women can do this – they know that it’s dangerous and they think you will kill them! You can’t be nervous; you have to be calm at all times. You carry a bucket of concrete weighing three tonnes and move it to another place. We sometimes move people to the top structure in man-cages, whilst having to avoid pylons. We also have cranes working next to each other, so you have to be very focused. You can’t be scared because you are alone up there. Even though you have a banksman on the ground with

The training is very important. You must know what you are doing. A tower crane is a lifting machine – if you treat it wrong, it will treat you wrong. However, experience makes you much more comfortable doing the job. The crane I’m operating now is 70 metres but I can also operate a 90-metre crane. I was so proud in 2010. I pointed and said “I built that stadium”.

Describe a typical day

I do my inspection of the crane before I climb up at 7am. I call my banksman to make sure the radios are connecting as we must

people don’t understand that women can do this

s u t h e r l a n d

I was taught how a tower crane works. There is a computer screen in front of you in the cab that tells you everything: if the crane has a problem, it warns you; it shows the wind speed; it shows your load from the point of pick up to where to drop it; and how you must slew with the jib. This job is very precise and the computer helps with that. You learn about electricity:

a radio telling you where to pick and drop off a load, you cannot just take instructions as they sometimes make mistakes. You must communicate at all times and be a team-player.

b r u c e

What training did you undergo?

there is an electricity box in the cab – if there is a problem with the crane, you must be able to fix it. You must recognise when there is a problem and know when to report it.

p h oto :

I always wanted to be up in the sky and to do something different. My dream was to be a pilot. I was unemployed for four years and looking for work when I found out that WBHO wanted to train people as tower crane operators. I applied, they called me, tested me in maths and English, and after that we went through training. A lot of people applied, but during training found out that they were scared of heights, or they failed the assignments. Eventually we were six women, of whom four failed. At the end of the training I was the only women, along with 15 men, who passed.


be in contact all day. We have a tea break and then back to work. We work until lunch break and then straight through until 6pm. I make sure I go to the ladies before climbing up!

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I like my job because it’s my dream come true being in the sky. I’ve learnt a lot of new things.

What aren’t you keen on?

Guys used to give me a really hard time. When I started it was not easy, the foreman used to say “I don’t want women working in my area”. But now that they see how well I work, they fight to have me working in their section.

What’s been the highlight of your career?

The fact that I’m doing something that very few women do. Now I have the confidence to do anything. A big day was when I met President Zuma at the 365 days to the 2010 World Cup kickoff. He said he had seen me on TV and was looking forward to meeting me. Another one was when the city’s communications director organised for me to have my first flight in a helicopter – that was so amazing.

what are you goals for the future?

I’d like to start a business – to buy a small car to rent out. I still hope to become a pilot one day!

What advice would you give someone starting out? You must fight for what you want. Don’t say “I can’t do that, it’s for men”. Just go for it. A woman who is a crane operator must be cool because men can be rude. You must be reliable and on time. You must be open to working overtime.

legal services

make the law, don’t break it

I studied a BA LLB degree at UCT, one needs to have at least an LLB to become a candidate attorney.

What tyPe of Personality is suited to this job?

All sorts, but it is important that one should have a moral backbone and be able to deal with pressure on a daily basis.

What do you enjoy most about your Work?

I get to sort out people’s

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The work load can be daunting, but to be a good lawyer you need to put in the hours. The better you become, the more work you get.

is exPerience as imPortant as formal training?

Yes, if not more. Experience makes things so much easier, as you get to know all the tricks in the book. Of course, training gives one a crucial base to start from and should never be underestimated.

describe a tyPical day on the job

Firstly, I check e-mails from clients and look go over the notes I made for

Tembelani Herbert Mayosi candidate attorney

CK Friedlander Shandling & Volks

myself the day before. Most of my day is spent drafting documents or calling and consulting with clients about their matters. I also help out with the serving of documents at court and other law firms. I normally go to the courts once a day to file documents.

what are your future career goals?

I want to get admitted as an attorney and complete my masters, which I’m doing at UCT. Long term, I have an

interest in commercial law. My ultimate goal is to become a top litigation attorney.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the legal world? You will make mistakes, it is inevitable, just learn from them and move on. Learn as much as you can from assistance staff, they know more than you may think.

describe your job in three Words Solving people’s problems.

The better you become, the more work you get

r u d d e n

What training did you undergo?

are there any asPects that you aren’t keen on?

p e t e r

Law is a social science and because we are governed by laws in almost all we do, I wanted to understand how it all works. A law degree gives you skills to thrive in most environments, and you get to help people in a number of ways.

problems, which can be very satisfying. I also enjoy the office environment.

p h oto :

Why did you choose to work in the legal field?


well catered Hugh Ingpen Co-owner

Sunflower Catering & Bar Services

Why did you choose to open Sunflower Catering?

Lydia, my wife and partner, and I had many years combined experience in the hospitality industry. We got to a point where we recognised a need for a onestop shop for events and catering, where clients could arrange a complete function through one company without needing to search all over for the different services required, i.e. food, bar, staff, hiring, décor, venues and entertainment. So we launched our own company and it has proven to be very successful.

What are the quirks of the business?

r u d d e n

A function begins with planning, planning, planning. If you are well prepared and have checked all the finer details, the execution should be seamless. We finish the cooking and packing of vehicles early (if possible), and usually arrive at a function about two hours before to set up the bar, prep food and set up the venue. Complicated venues can take longer. Once the guests arrive it is all about timing, caring and detail. We carry on until the last guest leaves smiling. Then it’s clean up, pack up and head home.

What do you enjoy the most?

What training did you undergo?

Catering can be highly stressful. There can be many hiccups that put pressure on the team and cause delays. Working with people is not always easy, but good planning is the key.

what makes for a good caterer?

p e t e r

Describe a typical day on the job

Our business is unusual in that we are often asked to create new concepts and themes for functions in unusual places such as on boats, on top of mountains and in wine cellars.

I was trained through the Wits Hotel School and also completed a Southern Sun Hotels three-year inservice Higher Diploma. Lydia learnt the ropes working in the film industry, catering for shoots on set.

p h oto :

formal training, although a solid educational grounding will give you the confidence and motivation needed to succeed in this game.

Before you get into the industry you need to establish whether you have a passion for food and entertaining. You need to be an outgoing, strong-willed person with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. You also need to be creative, patient and have an eye for detail. Catering can be very stressful as you are dealing with people, food, time and constantly changing environments where many things can, and do, go wrong. You have to be able to think on your feet and find creative solutions to any issues that may arise.

experience versus formal training?

I have certainly learned more on the job than through

It is highly satisfying having a group of people enjoying a fantastic function that you have created.

What are you least keen on?

What’s been the highlight of your career? Being awarded the contract to cater for the 2012 Junior World Cup Rugby by SARU and successfully handling all the venues, players and dignitaries without any major hiccups. We were also chosen as a finalist in the Cape Talk/Softline Pastel Small Business Awards.

What are your goals for the future?

To see Sunflower Catering become a household name for its high standards and uncompromising attention to detail and caring.

Describe your job in three words Stressful, rewarding and profitable.

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Fidel Castro Rolse

Trainee Accountant The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA)

life is not always black or white but sometimes a mixture of colours. It has also taught me that instead of always criticising, one should roll up one’s sleeves and do some work to make the changes one wants to see in our country.

What training did you do?

I had to go to university where I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in accounting. After that I signed up for a three-year article clerkship. I am currently in my final year.

What personality is best suited to this work?

I have seen both introverts and extroverts on the job and both do their jobs exceptionally well.

Experience VS training?

Experience is just as important as formal training. With formal training someone explains something to you, but I have

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realised that whenever I learn something on the job there is always a ‘wow’ moment.

Describe a typical day

The first thing I do when I get to work is to crack a joke or two with colleagues. After that I read a newspaper online just to see whether there have been any events that affect any of our clients. After that we have an informal team meeting with regards to what the objectives for the day are. I interact with a lot of people on a daily basis, especially because we are often with clients. As strange as it may sound, auditing requires a lot of communication, so that definitely is a skill that one needs.

What do you like the most about your job?

My job has changed the perception I had about the South African government. It has taught me that

What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

The day I signed my article contract with the AGSA is definitely the highlight of my career so far. “We value and recognise our people” is one of the values of the organisation. AGSA made a promise to its employees, and as an employee I can say that they are sticking to it.

what are you goals for the future?

I would like to make a difference in the lives of others. I know that I won’t be able to change the entire world, but I believe that every little bit counts. So, if I can affect the lives of many South Africans in a positive way, it will be a mission accomplished. One of our other values at the AGSA is “Our accountability is clear and personal”, and this is another factor that definitely motivates me.

s p i e s

Because I always liked accounting. It was my favourite subject at school, and at university I liked it even more. A lot of my friends did not like the subject, while I could not get enough of it.

j o

Why accountancy?

That will definitely be the long hours on the job! This job is deadline driven and one is sometimes required to work overtime just to get the job done. More hours on the job means less time with family, which is why I do not like overtime that much.

p h oto :

Ultimately Accountable

Which aspects are you least keen on?

modelling industry

lights, camera, action Sonia Bodla

Agent/Booker Boss Models

What is it that you do for a living?

I book models and actors for work in films, television commercials and magazines.

Why the modelling industry?

The funny thing is that the industry actually chose me (and that’s a true story)!

What training did you undergo

I undertook a diploma in Fashion Design. I also did some modelling myself when I was younger, so I gained a good sense of the industry through that.

Is there a type of personality best suited to this work?

p h oto :

P e t e r

r u d d e n

You need to be outspoken, have a good eye for beauty and have an understanding of the differences between human beings. You definitely need to be in control of your emotions at all times.

Any aspects you aren’t keen on?

None to be honest, and if there are any, they usually last about five minutes and they are gone, so I don’t recall them much. It is never personal.

What’s been the highlight of your career? The challenges I am faced with, the self-respect I have gained and the opportunity to have worked with such an amazing team. The eight years that I have spent working with them feels like a lifetime together!

what are Your goals for the future?

I will have succeeded if I can continue working in a business this frustrating, with all its daily challenges, and still embrace the work that I do!

Advice for wannabe bookers

Experience versus formal training

Experience is of major importance in this game as I doubt you can train a person to see the things that experience teaches you.

Don’t be big-headed or have a bullish ego as you can be reduced to a lamb in five minutes! Have barrels of self-confidence. If you have trust issues, don’t touch this industry with a barge pole. Be willing to listen and take advice, to ask questions and be open-minded. Don’t be too hungry for it, you might just burn out! Most importantly, enjoy yourself and have fun.

what do you love the most about your job?

Describe your job in three words

Changing lives, especially the lives of young guys and girls; showing them that they can make anything of themselves in features, and showing them the value of self-confidence.

Challenging, Rewarding and Stimulating.

you need to be able to control your emotions post matric 2013

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making sparks fly Ivo Sola

Self-employed Welder Sola Metal Fabricators

I did a welding course at the shipyard in my home town.

Is there a type of personality best suited to this work? Someone who likes to be handson and who wants to try to make something on his own. Someone who is outgoing and creative, has stamina and a good eye for detail.

How does formal training match up to experience? Formal training teaches you the basics, experience teaches you everything else. Learning never stops in this industry.

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What do you like the most?

Independence, interesting challenges, being creative in order to meet a challenge, and the ability to come and go as I please.

What don’t you enjoy?

Traffic, unreliable workers and tax!

What’s been the highlight of your career thus far?

I have been involved in some big projects in Cape Town, e.g. Boulevard Park, Virgin Active in Steenberg, The Pepper Club in Loop Street and the Crystal Towers

your goals for the future? To grow this business to the next level, and as a side-business I’d love to open a restaurant (cooking is my other passion).

What advice would you give to someone starting out as a welder? You need little investment, but you do need determination. You need to network and market yourself all the time. Never miss an opportunity to tell someone what you do. You never know what a person may be needing – be it a simple metal staircase or a beautiful balustrade.

The job in three words

Dynamic • Creative • Fun you need little investment, but you do need determination

r u d d e n

What training did you undergo?

Usually I meet my workers at the workshop, order material that we need and then describe to them what needs to be done. There are always meetings with clients or architects. There is lots of driving involved between clients and sites, suppliers and galvanizers. I am very hands-on in my business.

at Century City. On all of them I was worried that I was in over my head, but what tools you don’t have you can always hire and you take each day as it comes. I am also lucky enough to have friends who give me good advice and lend me equipment if needed.

p e t e r

I had little choice. I grew up on a small island in the Adriatic that had very few industries, and I didn’t like school very much. My dad was a welder and I used to help him from time to time when I was a teenager. I was never taught how to run a business – I had to learn that myself.

Describe a typical day on the job

p h oto :

Why did you choose to become a welder?


shaping the future Cameron McLean

Specialist Ecologist: Aquatic Ecosystems & Biodiversity Planning eThekwini Municipality

Why did you choose conservation? I have always been very passionate about the natural environment.

Is experience as important as formal training?

p h oto :

s u p p l i e d

Quality education is vital! All my decisions have to be scientifically defensible, which is knowledge that can only be gained while studying. In attempting to conserve natural areas, however, there is often conflict with other parties competing for the same land. Experience certainly assists in dealing with these types of issues.

56 // post matric 2013

What training did you undergo?

All my training took place at the University of KwaZulu Natal. I completed a three year Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Biological Sciences, a one year BSc Honours degree in Marine Ecology, and a two year Master of Science (MSc) degree in Estuarine Ecology. The MSc coincided with an internship at the eThekwini Municipality’s Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department (EPCPD).

Which aspects do you enjoy most?

Our natural heritage is

in a state of decay, with increasing development pressure being placed on our remaining habitats. Every time we conserve an area it is satisfying, but more importantly it represents a victory for the environment.

share some of your future goals

I am very interested in research and as such would like to complete a PhD in the next few years. The outcomes of the study would hopefully be used to improve our management and conservation of aquatic environments.

What advice would you give to someone starting out? Work hard at university because the knowledge you gain there will be invaluable to you once you are actually in the work place. This is not a profession that will make you extremely wealthy (so don’t get into it for the money!), but it is one that may provide you with a great deal of personal and job satisfaction.


Rewarding • Interesting • Challenging

i’ve always been passionate about the natural environment


this is space calling

What training did you undergo?

After completing a B.Sc. Geology Degree at the University of the Western Cape, I started with an Internship Programme at SANSA’s Space Science directorate in Hermanus as a Science Advancement Intern. The internship lasted a year and I then went on to pursue a Remote Sensing Internship at SANSA’s Earth Observation directorate in Gauteng. That internship also lasted for a year; and I am now a Customer Relations Trainee.

experience VERSUS formal training?

As illustrated above, the formal training that I received at the university worked as a basis which enabled me to persue various fields. You can gain experience on the job but training is necessary to perform any job in the most efficient manner possible.

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What skills do you need?

Working with various clients means that you have to learn how to listen, in order to provide them with the correct information. It requires people skills as you need to be able to deal with different personalities, while keeping your cool.

What aspect do you enjoy most?

My favourite part is being able to advise clients on which satellite imagery is best suited for their individual projects. In Earth observation, there are different sensors which produce images at different resolutions (both spatial and spectral). So, by knowing the properties and characteristics of the satellites, we can advise as to what will work best.

Describe your job in three words

Energetic, Patient and Caring.

Junior Space weather assistant sansa, space science

Why did you choose this profession?

I chose the field of space weather because it’s a relatively new field, especially in SA, and it’s a fastgrowing profession with many exciting opportunities to work with space weather agencies around the world.

What training did you undergo?

I did a B.Sc. degree in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at the University of Western Cape. I then did an internship with SANSA for one year. I am now a full time employee learning something new every day. A computer science or physics degree can also get you into this profession.

Describe a typical day on the job?

The sun is the source of space weather which is the outer space equivalent of weather on Earth. Instead of wind, rain and snow, however, space has solar storms, the solar wind and solar flares. Space weather effects can interfere with our technological systems. The SANSA Space Weather Centre provides early warnings and forecasts on space weather events. My job includes monitoring space weather which plays an important role in protecting satellite technology, communication systems and electrical power grids. I do frequency prediction for our clients who use navigation and communication technology such as GPS and HF radio. Every morning I put together a space weather forecast for our website.

What do you like the most about your job?

This field is fascinating and there is always something new to learn in the world of space science. I enjoy opportunities to travel overseas to attend conferences, workshops and to visit Space Weather Centres.

r e e d

SANSA, Earth Observation

Teboho Nxele

g e o r g e

Customer Relations Trainee

p h oto :

Nomnikelo Bongoza

Mutshutshu Nephiphidi

Satellite Ground Segment Technician SANSA, Space Operations

What training did you undergo?

Upon receiving a BTech in Electrical Engineering: Light Current at the Vaal University of Technology, I commenced an Internship Programme at the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). The internship lasted a year, after which I was employed as an Operator. Three years later, I am now a Satellite Ground Segment Technician at SANSA’s Hartebeesthoek station.

what personality traits are needed?

To work in this position one needs to be technically-minded and not afraid to take risks and make ad-hoc decisions. You should be able to think on your feet, especially when working night shifts and with international clients.

any advice for newcomers?

Focus, practice discipline

and be passionate about the job to make sure that you succeed in this field.

future goals?

Ultimately, I would like to work with the team that builds satellites, analyses the telemetry and performs satellite commanding as well.

experience versus formal training?

As a Satellite Ground Segment Technician, experience is important. Having studied Electrical Engineering in light current, the more obvious career paths would lean towards those in the mobile and networking industries. Once you know more about the industry you work in, you will find it easier to apply the knowledge that you have received at a training institution. My job is technicallyorientated and the more you work with a certain system, the better you understand it.

Did you know South Africa has a space agency? The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) was established in 2010 and aims to be a leading contributor to advancing society through space science, engineering and technology. The space agency is involved in satellite development, launch support and monitoring the Earth from space using satellite imagery. SANSA also conducts space physics research and works in interesting places like Antarctica and Marion Island as well as collaborating with other African countries, Europe, Asia and America. The Agency hosts the only Space Weather Centre in Africa which monitors solar activity; keeping our satellite communication systems safe. SANSA has four directorates; Earth Observation, Space Operations, Space Science and Space Engineering, dedicated to the promotion and use of space and space-related activities. The SANSA team is a diverse group of scientists, engineers, educators and support staff members working together in service of humanity. SANSA: Tel: 012 844 0500 Web: Email: Find us on facebook South African National Space Agency Tweet us @SANSA7


the power of the pen Mpumelelo Mkhabela JOURNALIST

Sunday Times Parliamentary Bureau Chief

Bachelor of Arts (with majors in English, Politics and Geography); BA Honours (Political Science); Bachelor of Journalism (Honours); and a BA Honours (International Politics).

experience versus formal training?

Formal training is very important, I don’t think I would have made it to this level without it. But training need not be the same as mine. Many journalists have trained in various other fields before they trained in journalism, some trained as journalists immediately after Grade 12. Once you get started you learn everyday, thus, experience is also crucial.

Describe a typical day on the job

A normal day begins at my house… while having breakfast, I tune into a radio news programme. On arrival at the office, I read the morning newspapers and browse local and international news websites. By then I have a good idea of what is going on and proceed to make phone calls, or attend meetings with news sources. When Parliament is in session, I normally scan the parliamentary programme for the day: it indicates what is under discussion in Parliament’s committees, and in the parliamentary chambers, the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. I then decide on the most important parliamentary activity to follow. On average, I attend no less than five meetings a day.

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What aspect do you enjoy the most?

I get to know a lot about what is going on in the world because I interact with political decision-makers on a daily basis. I know more than I ever write about. The more you grow, the more influential you become. Journalists are the most influential people in the world – alongside government officials and judges.

What’s been the highlight of your career?

Every time my name appears in the newspaper makes for a career highlight because each time I write, I keep a number of people informed about political developments. I inform the public about, among other things, government’s ability – or lack thereof – to deliver on its promises to the people after an election.

advice for young journos?

Don’t expect to be a millionaire. If you work hard, you will live reasonably well, but you won’t be rich. You have to love the job. Be ready to make as many enemies as you will friends.

Journalists are among the most influential people in the world

r u d d e n

What training did you undergo?

When a matter under discussion requires no further research, I will immediately write and publish it on The Times website or file it for publication in The Times the following morning. If a story requires further investigation, I will gather more information.

p e t e r

I am the senior political journalist responsible for the Sunday Times parliamentary coverage.

p h oto :

What does your job involve?



Forensic Psychophysiologist (Polygraph Examiner) Integra Polygraph Solutions

what does your career entail?

We offer a range of services to corporates and private individuals in situations where the veracity of information needs to be established. A polygraph instrument is used to assist us with our investigations. We do pre-employment screenings, specific incident investigations and periodic screenings of staff to identify undesirable behaviour in the workforce.

Why did you choose this profession?

I initially started out in the import/export industry and warehoused a lot of high value consumer goods. Loss control was an important part of the job and polygraph-based investigations one of the tools used to identify possible causes for the losses taking place.

What training did you undergo?

I completed a Diploma in Forensic Psychophysiology at an American Polygraph Association approved training facility.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Which aspects are you least keen on?

Experience versus formal training?

You only really learn how to be a good examiner through experience. I would recommend getting a background in Criminology and Psychology and getting some experience in an investigative field before embarking on this career.

I once conducted an investigation on behalf of family members of a victim of a fatal shooting. Information gathered during the investigation ultimately lead to the arrest and conviction of a dangerous housebreaking syndicate. I also investigated theft from a member of a famous rock band touring SA.

Describe a typical day

advice for starting out in your career?

p h oto :

Every time you go to work you make decisions that can have a significant impact on the lives of others. You cannot allow emotions to cloud your judgment, or be apathetic to the individual’s circumstances. A person needs to be ethical, pragmatic and perceptive, and also be confident and articulate as a crucial part of the job involves interviewing people one-on-one. One needs to be able to gain a stranger’s trust.

r u d d e n

Helping people find answers and solving their problems. Sometimes you will gain valuable evidence that leads to convictions in serious criminal matters.

p e t e r

What type of personality is suited to this?

polygraph test is administered. Test data is analysed and scored and a finding is reached. Depending on the circumstances, the outcome is then potentially discussed with the examinee to gather additional information. At the end of the day, findings are discussed and often you will advise the client on what further action can be taken. Tests take between one and two hours and are mentally quite taxing, so we limit the number of tests we conduct in a day to four or five persons. In the evenings, reports are prepared.

Arrive at a client, discuss the matter under investigation and formulate the test questions to be asked. Individual interviews are then conducted and a

The services we provide are needed but not always wanted, so you often have to deal with people who are belligerent and openly hostile towards you. In some cases examinees will break down in tears and although you might be sympathetic to their situation, your obligation is towards finding out the truth.

Your career highlights to date?

An old dog can still teach a few tricks; find an experienced professional examiner and do an apprenticeship with him before you go into the field. post matric 2013

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banking l

Taking stock Why did you choose this profession?

It was always my dream, and my talents lay in this area.

What training did you undergo?

I did a PhD in Applied Mathematics. My research focused mainly on financial modelling and optimisation and their application to banking and finance; this included issues related to Basel capital regulations and the subprime mortgage crisis.

Well, to prosper in this industry one needs to be a goal-driven, smart and savvy individual.

Is experience as important as formal training? Yes, work experience gives you an insight into the kind of work you are likely to be doing. It gives you a clear indication of whether you are suited to it. Formal training teaches you how to do new things, upgrades your skills and knowledge, and maintains your level of competency.

Has your post-graduate degree made any tangible contribution in your working environment? Yes, it has. It gave me extra freedom to tailor my career to suit my interests. Most importantly, it provided me with valuable knowledge of Basel regulations. The banks use the

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Audit Quantitative Analyst Standard Bank South Africa

Basel regulations as a benchmark against their own policies.

Describe a typical day on the job

Working on projects/audits allocated for that specific week/ month and attending technical committee meetings and portfolio meetings in between, which can sometimes take up most of the working day.

What do you like the most about your job? That I work on different projects every month.

What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Working for one of the four biggest banks in South Africa.

What are your goals for the future? One of my goals is to open a research company.

Any advice for someone starting out in banking?

Learn and become an expert in the field. Always deliver to the best of your ability.

How would you best describe BANKSETA as an institution assisting individuals in broader banking? Are they fulfilling their mandate?

Definitely; as Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. BANKSETA is empowering young South Africans through full sponsorship of skills development initiatives to obtain the ‘most powerful tool’ that will help them follow their dreams, succeed in the workplace and improve the South African economy.

Describe your job in three words

Exciting • Challenging • Innovative

s p i e s

what type of personality is best suited to this type of work?

Dr Mmamontsho Charlotte Senosi

j o


p h oto :

How did you access funding for your post- graduate studies?


for your eyes only Why optometry?

I think the profession chose me because it was not my intention to study optical dispensing. I wanted to do mechanical engineering but was too late for registration. I thought that I should do dispensing just to keep me busy until something opened up in the engineering department. As I got involved with it, I realised I liked it and never looked back.

What training did you undergo?

I completed two years at the Cape Technikon (CPUT) and one year of in-service training at an optometric practice.

What personality traits are required?

You have to possess great interpersonal skills because you deal with people on a daily basis.

how does Experience compare to training?

Experience is very important, because all the theory that we do can never prepare us enough for the day-to-day things that go down in an optometric practice!

p h oto :

p e t e r

r u d d e n

Describe a typical day at the practice

Every day is different, but it generally starts off with contacting the different suppliers and checking on when we can expect our orders. Then it’s onto checking the spectacle prescriptions that come in and aligning the glasses. In between that it’s obviously helping customers as they come into the practice.

What do you like the most about your job? The people… I love dealing with

Thabo Nabe

Dispensing Optician Bauer Optometrist

different people on a daily basis. Yes, you get some difficult clients, but in general the customers are great to chat to.

Which aspects are you least enthusiastic about?

The constant struggle with suppliers to get things in on time. They just don’t seem to get that we care about our clients and want to get their glasses to them as speedily as possible.

What’s been the highlight of your career thus far?

The opportunity to work on the Phelophepa Health Care Train as their dispensing optician for two years. We were providing primary health care to rural South Africa; it was very fulfilling.

what are your goals for the future?

I would definitely like to open my own practice and provide services to the people who require them the most.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the field of optometry?

I would tell them that they must keep at it. The world of optical dispensing is a very exciting one with many opportunities available to those who pursue it, largely because of the fact that it is not a very well-known career choice in this country.

Describe your job in three words

Exciting, Fulfilling and Challenging.

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The job that gets the vote What training did you undergo?

While I had no formal training when I started at the IEC in 1993, I have since attained a Bachelor degree in Political Science.

What type of personality is required?

You have to love working with people and be projectminded. Elections, particularly on a national and provincial level, are the biggest logistical operation undertaken by a country and they involve the effective management of many mini-projects.

Stephanie Loy

art director/visual communicator

Is experience as important as training?

Absolutely; during our project planning my colleagues and I will recall things that worked well for certain voters and not for others. For example, using social media to communicate with voters is more suited to younger voters, while mature voters prefer communication through more traditional media.

Describe a typical day on the job

I divide my day according to my four key areas of responsibility which are voter registration, candidate nomination, party liaison and administrative tasks. I also spend a lot of time in meetings and planning sessions. Sometimes I also get to do some research, which I love.

What do you enjoy most?

The possibility of innovation, either in terms of our processes and approaches – or both, at every election.

Training and study opportunities

International IDEA has a programme called Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections, or BRIDGE. This professional development programme has a particular focus on electoral processes. It gives one the opportunity to meet colleagues from different electoral commissions around the world and learn more about their processes. As of 2012, one can also enrol for the Managing Democratic Elections in Africa course through the Centre for Electoral Democracy at the University of South Africa (the only formal course in elections management on the continent).

Does your work involve travel?

I love to travel and through my work at the IEC I

Roshnie Naidu

Assistant Manager: Voter Registration and Party Liaison Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC)

have been to various countries in Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Zimbabwe, and even as far as Australia.

Any advice for newcomers?

You have to love working with people. After a while, being involved in elections gets into your blood. At the IEC we have our own ‘election speak’, which even our families don’t understand. Every election is different, so don’t approach it with the attitude that you’ve been there, done that and got the election T-shirt. I have a lot of election T-shirts, but each one is unique and tells an exciting story.

Describe your job in three words Innovative, challenging and fulfilling.

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security services


ASSUME GUARD Why did you choose this profession?

When my first child was born in 1997, I was still in matric. I had to leave school to find a job and earn some money and security was the first work I could find. The company I started with provided me with training, which I had to pay for myself. I worked at Shoprite over the weekends to earn money to do so.

Adrian van Coller (with Jonothan Booysen)

What training did you undergo?

Sentinel Guarding

Working with people: the parents, school staff and kids. I enjoy being in a position of responsibility.

Which aspects are you least keen on?

I believe that experience is more important. What you do in training and what you do on the job itself are two different things. You can’t be fully prepared until you’ve worked the beat.

During my time in retail security I had to arrest people I caught shoplifting. A lot of the time I could tell that they were really poor and were suffering, but still had to hand them over to the police. That was hard. I also find that in the security industry, the bosses often don’t care about the workers on the ground, and they generally don’t go out of their way to offer further training. This job does have its challenges – twice I was locked up after being accused of things I didn’t do. Often, when things go wrong, the first person to get the blame is the security guard; ironically the very person they trusted.

Describe a typical day on the job

What’s been the highlight of your career?

Is experience as important as training?

My working day starts at 4:45am with the opening of the school I work at. I unlock the buildings, deactivate alarms and do a patrol – checking for signs of break-ins and ensuring everything is prepared for the teachers’ arrival. I then make sure that the other guards are at their posts and dressed in full uniform. When 8am comes, it is time to supervise the security staff that are ushering the cars into the premises for the childrens’ drop-off time. Then it’s pretty quiet up until 12:30, which is peak time for pick-ups. Everything must flow smoothly in the car park, so that’s when we play traffic cop! At 4:30pm, I hand over to the sub-senior and leave, unless there is a function taking place that night.

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The fact that after all the years I’ve spent in the business, I finally received a promotion; that someone recognised the potential in me and rewarded me.

What are your goals for the future?

I would like to be in a management position driving a company car and working for an established company.

advice for youngsters?

Take notes and learn from people who have been in the industry for a long time. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Describe your job in three words First line (of) defence.

r u d d e n

You need to be a hard-worker and be prepared to work any number of shifts, and overtime. You have to be flexible, reliable, trustworthy and responsible. You need to be mentally fit as anything can happen at any time. You must be a fast-thinker, quick on your feet and able to keep a cool head in an emergency.

p e t e r

What type of personality is suited to security work?

What do you enjoy most?

p h oto :

I did Grade E through to Grade C security training. The courses included fire-fighting; first aid; personal hygiene; occupational health and safety; how to write reports; how to do patrols and arrests; access control and security.

Site Supervisor


Magic in the making Why did you choose this profession?

My interest in shape, colour and texture quickly lead me to typography, pattern, print, logos, layout, etc. I was up for the challenge and fun of visually expressing ideas via applied graphics. I have always thought it a privilege to create commercially for Joe Public, as opposed to creating for a select few in galleries.

What training did you undergo?

A degree in Graphic Design at Stellenbosch University.

Is there a type of personality best suited to design work?

Not really, due to the enormous variety of scope available to designers. An outgoing person might enjoy being part of a high pressure advertising agency’s creative team, but be less inclined to work from home as a freelance book designer, for example. No matter what area of design one works in however, communicators of great ideas should be intuitive, single-minded and courageous.

Is experience as important as formal training?

Yes. Formal training gives you a broad understanding of a spectrum of design disciplines whereas work experience allows you to hone your skills in a specific area of design.

p h oto :

s u p p l i e d

Describe a typical day on the job

My days involves receiving design briefs, or working towards specific presentations. Suppliers whom we oversee include illustrators, photographers, printers and packaging manufacturers. Our rather unique team at Union Swiss comprises accountants, programmers, marketers and designers. Every day we refine ways of communicating all there is to know about our products – Bio-Oil and a new range of oils that will launch this year – to our worldwide distributor network via our extranet; and to consumers via our website.

I enjoy the journey of possibility and discovery

Jean Berrisford

Graphic Designer Union Swiss

What do you enjoy most?

I enjoy the journey of possibility and discovery that goes with creating a visual piece of communication. The understanding of what it is you want to say, and then the exploration of how you’ll communicate it; this could be exploring the shape of a bottle, comparing typefaces for the financials of an annual report or experimenting with the lighting of a photograph.

What are your goals for the future?

Finding simpler, happier ways of communicating. Designing responsibly – always.

What advice would you give to young aspirant designers?

The industry values young people with good, fresh ideas. A good portfolio is one which is bursting with those ideas.

Describe your job in three words Challenging, Creative and Fun.

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media management

Media mogul Aubrey Ratsoma

Media Production Manager Department of Correctional Services

Why did you choose to work in media?

Destiny had a hand in it, and people like Beyers Schoeman at Boston City Campus believing in me.

What training did you undergo?

I did a Media Diploma at Boston Media House and RAU Faculty of Arts. I was driven by a desire to achieve, but I have to give credit to the staff of Boston City Campus; they were more than teachers – they became friends who encouraged me every step of the way. They really prepared me for the real world of media and communications.

What type of personality is best suited to mediarelated work? You need to be creative and be a people person, as well as God (the Guru Of Design) fearing.

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Is experience as important as formal training?

You need formal training so that when you ascend the career ladder, the experience gained through the journey can advance. Remember that after training, it’s you versus the world.

Describe a typical day on the job

Calendar of the day, meetings, creative work, video work, distribution plans, calendar of the day again, meetings, briefing the colleagues, thanking God, and hoping – sometimes.

What do you like the most about your work?

A client who has a challenging request. You never experience the same old day with the

same old problems. I also like seeing a client’s face when they see beautiful designs. The “thank you” one gets from clients pushes me to do more impressive work with my team.

of my time. To grow the company I work for the way God wants me to. To advance myself in terms of further education and communication.

What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to be, you will find your calling. Don’t rush and make hectic decisions. Be humble and never lose your temper, as sometimes you might also lose good people. Love the ones that smile back at you. You are never too old to study. Laugh loudly and remember you are always young in front of your parents and GOD, so it’s okay to act childish!

Meeting the president of South Africa regarding some design marketing concepts; Doing some TV adverts for top firms; Working with great people like Danny K while I was at Pre TV Media; Doing work for people like Eugene Mthethwa and Mr Trompies (Kwaito singer).

What are your future goals?

To be there for my family more, as this type of industry requests a lot

Advice for young media moguls?

Describe your job in three words

Fun • Creative • Learning

Be humble and never lose your temper

slug to go here


anchors away


your practical time at sea and what you learn practically tends to stay in your memory.

Describe a typical day

Abdul Qader Hendricks

Navigation Cadet OFFICER Seaspan Ship Management

Why did you choose this profession?

From a young age I had a love for aviation and US Navy fighter jets and aircraft carriers. Back then I wanted to pursue a career in aviation or navigation, specifically on an aircraft carrier. I learnt more about these career paths through my own research, and ultimately decided to enroll myself at a school where I would do two extra subjects to do with the maritime industry as a Grade 10 learner.

p h oto :

c r e d i t

i f

s u p p l i e d

a n y

h e r e

What training did you undergo?

I had the great advantage of obtaining a bursary from Transnet National Ports Authority to attend school at Simon’s Town High, where I did two extra subjects (Nautical Science & Maritime Economics). I gained an enormous amount of knowledge during those three years, which included various practical training and training voyages on ships. After I matriculated, I completed one year of my National Diploma in Maritime Studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The second year is required in order to graduate and

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to become a Chief Navigating Officer or Master Mariner. After completing my first year, I joined a company to complete my practical sea experience (minimum 12 months). I am currently busy with my practical sea time at a Canadian based company, Seaspan Ship Management, and I require five more months service before I am able to write my Deck Officer of the Watch unlimited examination, which will enable me to sail as a Third Navigating Officer onboard ships trading worldwide. I have also completed various STCW courses and other training at Samtra during the past year or so.

Is there a type of personality best suited to this work?

Yes, it’s definitely not for the fainthearted. You should be a strongwilled person who knows what responsibility means, is able to make important decisions and can remain calm under pressure.

Is experience as important as formal training?

I believe that experience is one of the most important aspects. Most of your knowledge is gained during

As a Navigating Officer, your primary duties are to keep navigational watches. The watches are divided between Chief, Second and Third Navigating officers, each shift consisting of eight hours per day. As a Third Navigating Officer, I would be in charge of watches (08:00– 12:00, and 20:00–midnight). Additional responsibilities include the maintenance of life-saving and fire-fighting equipment as well as any important task allocated to me by the Master. There are also other secondary duties.

What do you like the most?

That each day poses a new challenge, and that the learning never stops. I love travelling around the world visiting major cities and meeting people of diverse cultures.

what aren’t you keen on?

Spending time away from home.

career highlights?

The adrenaline rush that I get when navigating the world’s oceans in traffic-congested waters.

your goals for the future?

To further my navigation career and to obtain my Class 1 unlimited license (Master Mariner). I would love to work ashore as a Ship Surveyor or Marine Harbour Pilot.

advice for young mariners?

You should be passionate and goal orientated. As a trainee officer, take in as much as possible because once you are qualified you take on a great load of responsibility and there’s no room for mistakes.



In the bag Jaqueline Bürge

Founding Owner Rarity Handbags cc

Stephanie Loy Describe what you do

My company, Rarity Handbags, manufactures unique handbags aimed at the export market and at local top-end boutiques. These products are made out of responsibly-sourced hides.

Why did you choose to pursue this line of work? I chose it because of my love for design and fashion.

What training did you undergo?

After completing Fine Arts at Michaelis School of Fine Art, I ended up designing for a company, then worked my way up to lead designer and factory manager.

what does one need to make it in this industry? If you are creative, with the ability to be analytical and focused, you are perfect for this kind of career.

p h oto :

s u p p l i e d

Describe your working day

Waking up early for boot camp (come summer or winter); it keeps me present and gives me precious time alone. The factory production line starts at 7.30am, and I’m there by 8am after dropping my child at school. Running a design and manufacture concern that is focused on exports sees very few

art director/visual

unique demands of our discerning normal days; each communicator day is exciting clients. I am proud of the fact that and interesting. Every client and we have a happy and productive every country comes with its own working environment, with skilled challenges and thus needs to and dedicated staff. I love being in be approached accordingly, so our factory. planning is paramount. A daily meeting with the factory manager what don’t you enjoy? ensures that I’m up to speed Accounts are really hard work, on everything and allows for but doing them becomes easier scheduling and problem solving. with time and practice. It is an Export requires prompt and integral part of understanding your efficient service, so most mornings company and planning growth. are dedicated to correspondence with clients. A fun part of the day what have been your is identifying design and materials career highlights? for new ideas, which requires a Being a top ten finalist in the detailed time and cost analysis. I ABSA Western Cape Exporter explore all options on new ideas/ of the Year, and having Princess ranges or requests to establish Mary of Denmark carry one of which projects are feasible, as well our designs to the Monaco royal as exploring new markets, shows wedding (and also to several and marketing platforms. other functions).

experience vs training?

In this field you need both, especially if you want to run a successful, growing business. If I had to choose between the two, I would choose experience.

What do you love most?

The challenge of addressing the

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs? Love what you do – working is a big part of your life; plan everything; know what’s coming in and what you have to spend; stay focused; put in the hours; and, do your research…all the time.

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financial management

numbers whizz Manenzhe Manenzhe

Senior Finance Manager South African Revenue Services

For me what matters most is to keep my team fired up to achieve all the tasks ahead of us. My main focus is to ensure that 80% of what we do is directly contributing towards achieving the organisation’s strategic objectives and 20% is routine work. More than anything, I believe in a happy team, because it is only teamwork that makes the team work!

Why did you choose accounting?

I’ve always believed that numbers tell a story, and have always been fascinated with predicting a company’s direction and future by merely looking at numbers; that in itself demonstrates the noble art of strategic intuition and insight. This profession to me is the most flexible since as an accountant, one can work in any organisation.

What training did you undergo?

I did my training at KPMG Inc, where I started as a tax consultant in 1998. I then did three years of articles. Upon completion I became a management consultant, until I left the organisation in 2004. I also completed the ACCA professional qualification, so I am a proud member of ACCA.

What values does an accountant require? Integrity and objectivity are amongst the necessary values, both in and out of the office.

p h oto :

j o

s p i e s

Experience vs formal training

Experience is equally important to formal training since it gives one a feel of the real world. Experience also provides an in-depth understanding of how different strategies are implemented in achieving the organisation’s objectives.

Describe a typical day at work

I start every day with a reflection of the day before, and end every day with preparation for the next.

What do enjoy most about accounting?

When I see another school or house or hospital built for the poor, or another tar road laid, then I know I’ve played a part in ensuring that happened as part of my responsibility in administering South Africa’s taxes.

Which aspects are you least keen on?

I am not a fan of routine work and I am easily bored when doing the same thing over and over. Luckily routine work is at a minimum.

Your career highlight to date?

Having worked for organisations in both the private and public sector, I have been exposed to many industries. The most exciting thing is the strategic role that finance plays in all these organisations to ensure that the company achieves its vision. I’ve found it fascinating to put to test several strategies across companies during the economic meltdown, from cost savings to learning six sigma methodologies.

any advice for young accountants?

Being an accountant starts as a dream, but it takes hard work and determination to make it come true. If you really want to be an accountant, you need to start by believing in yourself. Then, if you have the right discipline, nothing will stop you.

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NGO worker

well coordinated Why did you choose to work in the NGO sector?

My career actually chose me. I returned to South Africa after living abroad for eight years and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I found a temporary job with a very small NGO, which later became permanent. I learnt to do everything from financial management, HR, editing documents and project coordination, and even picked up some librarian know-how.

What does your job involve?

I coordinate public meetings on topics relating to international affairs with fascinating guest speakers from all over the world. I also facilitate two programmes for schools: one is a high school quiz on international affairs involving 50 schools and 200 learners, the other is the Model United Nations Program, which is new to Cape Town.

Yes, someone who is a good networker with plenty of patience and a strong desire to broaden their knowledge. Organisational skills are paramount.

Is experience as important as formal training?

Yes, it is through hands-on experience that you probably learn the most.

Describe a typical day on the job

p h oto :

p e t e r

r u d d e n

Every day is different depending on the deadline and demands at the time. I have a multitude of checklists and calendars and folders on the go at any given moment. I spend a lot of time on the phone and working on my computer.

What do you like the most about your work?

I like the fact that it’s varied and interesting, and that I get to be my own boss.


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Project Coordinator / Consultant South African Institute of International Affairs, Western Cape (amongst others)

Which aspects of the job are you least keen on?

I never seem to have enough hours in my days and often work late into the night. There are no set working hours. There is also no consistency, which can be a good and bad thing.

What’s been the highlight of your career?

The opportunity to meet famous, and wonderful people; travelling around Africa; learning from experts.

What are your future goals? To earn more money!

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your career?

You can’t expect to earn a huge salary working in the NGO sector – it’s so different from the corporate world and there is no profit incentive. Therefore you need to stay motivated and want to make a difference in the world in order to enjoy job satisfaction. K u n z

Is there a type of personality best suited to this work?

Pippa Segall

A n n

I studied African Politics at UCT, but mostly received on-the-job training.

Describe your job in three words Making a difference.

p h oto :

What training did you undergo?

Training that puts your needs first Eduloan available • Computer based courses • Hospitality • Office Administration CONTACT US: Tel: 028 313 0129 Fax: 028 313 2553 Email:

Part time or full time Minimum entry requirement Grade 9

animal welfare

animal instinct Lorraine Coombs Inspector

Boksburg SPCA

Why did you choose this profession?

I joined the SPCA because I wanted to protect animals.

What training did you require for the job?

You have to be a really strong person. You need to get along with people under difficult conditions and be able to educate them.

Is experience as important as formal training? Yes. Having experience working with animals will help you better utilise your formal training.

Describe a typical day working for the spca

Attending to complaints; doing prehome and post-home inspections; doing pet shop inspections; educating people about how to

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What do you like the most about your work? Being able to spend my day working with animals, as well as looking after them.

What aspects of the job are you least keen on? The fact that I have to humanely euthanise animals.

What advice would you give to someone starting out? You have to be patient with the animals’ owners. When you get upset, you cannot afford to show it. You need to understand animals and their specific needs. You really

have to work hard. This is a 24hour job and not everybody is cut out for this kind of work. You have to be really committed in order to survive and enjoy what you do.

What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

I see every day that I work in this job as a highlight. Being able to protect animals means an awful lot to me.

mention one of your future goals

One day I would like to become a senior inspector.

Describe your job in three words

I am PASSIONATE about it, I LOVE it… and it’s HARD.

when you get UPSET, you cannot show it


what traits does a person require to do this work?

care for their animals; prosecuting people; having people get upset with you.

p h oto :

I had to work at the SPCA for three months. After that I wrote an exam, and after passing, I had to attend a two-week training course. I then had to write a second exam and complete a project. On completion, I underwent training in becoming an animal welfare assistant (AWA). This involved learning about vaccinating, deworming and euthanising animals. Only after successfully completing all of the above do you become an SPCA inspector.


natural record keeper Stephanie Loy art director/visual Vuyiswa Msila communicator

Senior Administrator Specialist symmetry – old mutual

Why did you choose this profession?

I chose administration because I enjoy working with numbers!

What training did you undergo?

There was no scheduled training, I pretty much figured things out and learnt everything necessary whilst doing the job.

is there a type of person best suited to administrative work?

p h oto :

p e t e r

r u d d e n

You have to be a hard worker with potential, be able to work under pressure and be an effective problem solver.

how does experience compare to formal training?

Experience counts a lot in my job as you are always dealing with different situations. You have to apply the knowledge you have gained through previous handson experience

Describe a typical day as an administrator at symmetry

are the situations from which you learn the most.

Days can be stressful when you are required to investigate pricing errors, and when there are transitions, or administrators have made errors!

are there any aspects of the job that you aren’t too keen on?

any advice for young people wanting to follow your career path?

mention one of the career highlights you have enjoyed thus far

Always be positive because anything is possible as long as you don’t underestimate yourself; and don’t change who you fundamentally are – you will be dealing with different people in the industry so be flexible, but always stay true to yourself.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

That it’s challenging and you often have to solve problems and deal with difficult situations; but these

I have to admit, I am not mad about doing manual reporting!

One of the highlights is that each and every day presents it’s own opportunity for me to rise to meet a new challenge.

would you care to share your future career goals? To become more involved in community development projects.

Describe your job in three words

Challenging, Stressful (at times) and Fun.

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Chief Financial Officer National Youth Development Agency

What do you enjoy most? Why did you chOose the financial industry?

When I first started high school my mother told me to focus on accounting so I eventually chose it as a subject. At the time I didn’t know much about the profession, but later on in 1995 I read an article in The Sowetan about the first black chartered accountant in South Africa, Mr Wiseman Nkhuhlu. At the time there were only 96 qualified CA’s in South Africa. The article motivated me to defy this structural situation in which black people were being left out of this privileged career path and I made it my personal goal to become a qualified CA.

p h oto :

j o

s p i e s

What training did you undergo?

Training to become a CA is a four-step process involving: A BCom degree in Accounting, an Honours degree with Certificate of Theory in Accounting, two board examinations, firstly through SAICA and secondly through IRBA and, finally, three years training at an auditing firm.

What makes a good CA?

An analytical person who pays attention to detail. CA’s are required to analyse financial data and advise management on organisational strategies based on this information.

Experience vs training?

Practical experience is definitely required, therefore CA’s are required to complete three years formal training known as articles. Upon embarking on a career as a CA, one has to be an expert in accounting, management, taxation and auditing.

Describe a typical day

A large portion of my days are spent in meetings advising colleagues and management on how to best deploy available funds. In addition to this, financial information needs to be constantly analysed to inform management decisions. I also have to oversee the daily operations and functioning of the organisations procurement processes. I generally work an 18-hour day.

100% commitment and passion is needed

Giving meaning to rands and cents means the most to me, but money alone means nothing without efficient management. What matters above all else is bringing about change with the money we have. The meaning found in the rands and cents of the NYDA is the change it brings to a young person’s life.

what aren’t you keen on?

I hate that I often have to disappoint other Executive Managers who need finances to implement new programmes or grow existing ones. Unfortunately, I have to be the person to tell them that there is simply no more money to put their plans into place.

advice for students

Chartered Accountancy is a hectic career path, both educationally and practically. 100% commitment and passion is needed to succeed and overcome the long hours studying in order to qualify and then the long working hours.

Describe your job in three words

Challenging • Fun • Progressive

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jewellery design and manufacture

The gold and the beautiful Why jewellery design?

I wanted to do something creative and varied, as well as having the possibility of flexible working hours, or working from home.

What training did you undergo?

I studied Jewellery Design and Manufacture at the Cape Technikon (now Cape Peninsular University of Technology) and then worked as a goldsmith for four years building my manufacturing skills. Thereafter I worked as a sales attendant and main designer in a jewellery shop at the V&A Waterfront for four years, where I gained experience in selling jewellery and consulting with clients. I also completed a basic Diamond Grading Course before starting my own business in 2005.

Is there a type of personality best suited to this work?

A creative and artistic type with good communication and listening skills – if you are creating bespoke jewellery for people you need to be able to interpret their ideas into an actual piece of jewellery. If you are an artist jeweller who produces a range of jewellery you need to be self-disciplined and able to motivate yourself as the freedom to create can quite easily lead to procrastination.

experience versus formal training

p h oto :

p e t e r

r u d d e n

Formal training, be it in the form of a jewellery course or an apprenticeship, is an important grounding where you gain necessary skills. Thereafter it is experience that makes the difference – learning from mistakes, mentors and people who are more experienced.

Describe a typical day on the job

There is no routine and tasks get done on demand, like working out quotations, answering client’s email requests, sourcing diamonds and gemstones from suppliers, design consultations with clients and coordinating manufacture.

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Petra Bierberg


What do you enjoy most?

Sharing in the client’s excitement! Jewellery serves no purpose other than making people happy – those who give it and those who receive it. I enjoy being my own boss and personally rendering the kind of service to my clients that I would like to receive.

Which aspects don’t you like?

Admin, and working out quotations when it is obvious the client is hunting for prices.

any advice for young designers?

Keep in mind that jewellery is a luxury and not high in demand when times are tough. It is not an easy profession, and the competition is fierce.

you need to be disciplined and able to motivate yourself


hands-on caring Describe a typical day on the job

I work in a general ward with a mix of medical and psychiatric patients. In the mornings the night staff hand over to the day shift, then we check medication. Breakfast will be issued, followed by the dispensing of medication to patients. The Sister then completes reports on the management of the patients. Doctors will come in during the day and I’ll do rounds with them and take orders on each patient. Nurses will continue doing regular observations (blood pressure, etc). I deal with admission, transfers and discharge of patients. It’s a full twelve-hour day! art director/visual

Stephanie Loy


describe your take on a ‘good’ nurse?

You need to be down to earth and care about people; it is about caring, understanding and love.

What do you enjoy most about your work? I love it when patients smile and say thank you when they feel better and are going home happy.

Do you have any dislikes?

Dealing with difficult patients – psychiatric patients, for example. It is not easy.

has there been a highlight in your career?

SR Yekiwe Hlombe

Registered Nurse Cape Town Medi-Clinic

Why did you choose nursing?

It started when I was fourteen and my grandfather was 113 years old. There was a nurse who lived next door who would visit the elderly. She helped my grandfather from getting bedssores and showed real love and care towards him. It was then that I knew.

What training did you undergo?

I did a Diploma in General Nursing Science, Community, Psychiatry and Midwifery. This was a four-year diploma with practical work.

I was still a student and it was my first delivery. I prepared everything and was telling the mother to push, and as she was pushing, but so was I! I became hypoglycaemic and fainted. The doctor had to give me glucose to restore my blood sugar so I could continue. I finally helped her give birth to a healthy baby boy – I was so happy. I will never forget that experience.

What are your future goals?

I plan to study further to become an educator and train nurses. I would like to share my knowledge.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in nursing?

Don’t take up nursing because of the money. Nurse because you love it!

Nursing is about caring, understanding and love post matric 2013

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viticulture and oenology

getting to grips with grapes Why did you choose this profession?

I completed a four-year BSc (Viticulture & Oenology), followed by a two-year postgraduate MSc (Wine Chemistry) at Stellenbosch University.

Is there a type of personality best suited to this work?

Yes! You must be hardworking and be prepared to not be a clock-watcher for three months of the year – the hours are crazy! You also can’t be shy and must communicate well, so people skills are vital. Perfectionists make particularly good winemakers!

Is experience as important as formal training?

I don’t believe one should be seen as more important than the other. Education is vital to make crucial decisions in the work environment. The wine industry is very competitive and having the necessary training will help you immensely. With that said, if you are passionate about wine, you can make it happen!

Describe a typical day on the job

During harvest season (January to April) we have an early start and are in the cellar by 5:30am. I have a brief meeting with all the students to discuss the day, then we start processing the grapes (we sort, crush, destem, press, settle, ferment, and do analyses, etc). When finished, we start cleaning. At approximately 11pm we call it a day.

What do you like the most about your job?

Teaching young winemakers about all the facets of the wine industry is fascinating. Nothing describes the


WESTERN CAPE Department of Agriculture (Elsenburg)

feeling when you finally see your wine in the bottle – it’s an emotional experience!

Which aspects are you least enthusiastic about?

Marking tests, keeping SARS happy and nagging students to do their administration!

What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Every day poses new challenges, and when I overcome these it is always a highlight.

What are your goals for the future?

I want to remain at the Elsenburg Cellar as a winemaker for another five years. It takes time to implement change and I still want to do some exciting things here! I want to complete a PhD in Wine Chemistry, and work in France for three years.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your career?

Make sure that you are really passionate about wine. We work very long hours and you need to be dedicated. Also, ensure you document everything you do during the winemaking process.

Describe your job in three words Unglamorous, Exciting and Challenging.

post matric 2013

S u p p l i e d

What training did you undergo?

Lorraine Geldenhuys

p h oto :

This profession is both current and challenging. Have you ever attended a dinner party and found that the wine was not discussed? It’s part of a world culture to consume wine with food. I also enjoy the fact that one can never make the same wine twice.

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sales and customer service

service with a smile My specific work experience was gained on the job. My colleagues guided me as I went along.

is there a personality type best suited to sales?

p h oto :

p e t e r

r u d d e n

Yes, I believe not everyone can be a salesperson. If you have a

Greeting customers and understanding their particular requirements; evaluating the work to be performed; managing an ongoing interaction with the client until they leave feeling satisfied.

What do you enjoy most? The environment I work in, the pace, and the people I meet.

Speedy Tyre & fitment

What’s been the highlight?

Helping people; knowing I am assisting with people’s road safety.

any advice to share?

Be confident and motivated. Have patience and a willingness to learn.

Describe your job in three words

Exciting • Fulfilling • Rewarding

shy personality, sales is not for you. This job requires one to be talkative, bubbly, enthusiastic and be a people person.

Experience vs training? Experience provides layers of

r u d d e n

What training did you do?

Describe a typical day


p e t e r

I was looking for work, so mailed my CV to a number of businesses. Speedy responded, I began working there, never looked back.

Nono Mcaphukisi knowledge that can be applied to the various situations one encounters in the line of duty.

p h oto :

Why did you choose sales?

emergency services

living in the moment Simon Abrahams FIREMAN

Divisional Commander Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service

fire service-related business during the shift. The time of year impacts greatly on the daily routine and the type and number of calls received.

Why did you become a fireman?

I’m an outdoor-loving person involved in climbing and mountaineering, so I was looking for something that would suit my interests and not confine me. I always enjoyed helping others and wanted to become involved in the rescue scene.

p h oto :

p e t e r

r u d d e n

What training did you undergo?

When I joined in 1984, the induction course was an intense, physically demanding one, which lasted three months. I did many internal courses, such as: extra heavy vehicle driver, rescue and extrication, advanced breathing apparatus and advanced fire-fighting. I obtained my National Diploma in Fire Service Technology from 1987 to 1989 at Cape Technikon, and obtained an Intermediate Life Support paramedic qualification in 1988. Training is ongoing.

What type of personality is suited to this job?

A fireman should be someone who can work well with others, displays empathy, enjoys helping others and is physically and mentally strong.

Describe a typical day at work

The fire service is divided up into fire suppression, fire safety, training, and dispatch and control sections. A typical day on the job will differ between sections. I am a senior manager in the suppression section and my day differs largely from that of a firefighter on shift responding to emergency calls. For them, the day begins at 9am and ends 24 hours later. They do daily fire/rescue drills and lectures, check/test and maintain equipment, respond to all emergency call-outs and clean and maintain the station premises. They are only allowed to leave the station precincts on call-outs or

i’ve always enjoyed helping others

what aspects of your work do you enjoy most? I enjoy the fact that the fire/rescue environment is such a diverse one and that you are forever learning on the job. Ongoing changes in technology continually affect the service in all spheres.

anything you’re not too keen on?

The administration part that goes hand-in-hand with a management position.

what are your future career goals?

This is my career and I’m here to stay. Department Head watch out!

What advice would you give someone starting out? This is a rewarding career in many ways. From the outset apply yourself and take full advantage of the courses and other avenues open for advancement.

Describe your job in three words

Exciting • Demanding • Rewarding

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Shirley Machaba national enterprise risk and internal audit leader PwC

External audit is primarily a financial discipline with a statutory obligation. These auditors’ main

00 84 //

post matric 2013

What do Internal Auditors do?

The job starts with understanding

There is hardly anything to dislike, but I must admit that having to work with people who do not understand the role of internal audit can be a challenge.

What ‘makes’ a good internal Auditor?

Whilst the financial skills of accountants are useful to do

h e r e

What is the difference between an internal auditor and an external auditor?

What do you like least about your work?

a n y

Once I was exposed to internal audit, I realised that I had discovered the coolest career. This is the one job that exposes you to every single aspect of an organisation, and gives you the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. The internal auditor plays a major role in the organisation’s wellbeing, making a significant difference as an assurance provider and trusted advisor to management. This is not just a position for career internal auditors, but is also an excellent training ground for those who want to move into executive positions.

function is to give assurance that the organisation’s financial position is what management has reported it is by looking at whether the financial statements are a true reflection of the organisation’s financial position, and ensuring that it is a going concern. Internal auditors on the other hand have a much broader scope. Although we also look at the organisation’s finance area, this is just a fraction of our function; internal auditors focus on every area in the organisation, from HR to supply chain management and procurement to IT. We also focus on strategy; risk management; fraud, ethics, compliance, sustainability, environmental and other risks; as well as governance and performance of the organisation’s core business.

Knowing that what I do can make a difference and directly contribute to the wellbeing of an organisation. I love being in a position to provide advice to management on best practice as well as on critical changes within the profession, industries and sectors. This of course means that I need to keep myself up to date with changes as well as have the ability to spot trends in the environment and determine the potential impact on my organisation and industry. Unlike many careers that tend to have a single focus, this is a multi-dimensional discipline. It is an exciting job with a lot of variety and no room for boredom.

i f

Why did you choose to be AN Internal Auditor?

What do you enjoy most?

c r e d i t

all eyes and ears

the risks the organisation is facing and looking at whether there are adequate controls in place to mitigate those risks. We also look at whether the staff and management are adhering to the established controls. In this context we are assurance providers and our primary client is the Board to whom we report through the Audit Committee.

internal auditing What training do you advise for a person wanting to enter the profession? Follow the Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa (IIA SA) career path. The IIA SA is the professional body that represents the interests of the internal auditing community and is the standard setter of the career path for internal auditors. The basic steps are firstly to obtain an academic qualification and become a member of the institute. Once you have begun working, enrol in the IIA SA’s Professional Training Program (in other words, you have to serve articles) and then write the Certified Internal Auditor exam as the final test of competence. After you have qualified, you can maintain your designations and knowledge through the IIA SA’s continuing professional development program.

Many Internal Auditors also opt to write the IIA’s specialty exams, which have been designed to further enhance their skills in particular areas such as government or financial services auditing and risk management.

ANY advice for someone starting out?

Do the groundwork to determine whether this is the right career choice for you. Once that decision is made, follow the career path as mapped out by the Institute of Internal Auditors. Being a member of the institute allows you to make use of their technical guidance resources and networking opportunities, amongst other benefits. * For a more detailed review of the IIA SA career path, visit website:

c r e d i t

i f

a n y

h e r e

their job effectively, internal auditors need to possess a high level of technical internal auditing skills and superior business acumen. They must be effective communicators, good project managers, analytically strong, and it helps if they are excellent negotiators. They need to be emotionally intelligent, have excellent leadership skills, have the ability to think strategically, network effectively, and deliver quality services and act as a business value enhancer. Internal auditors interact with various stakeholders with differing expectations, therefore good management skills are key. In addition, they must have an excellent grasp of organisational risk management concepts, unflinching integrity, be grounded in ethics and possess reserves of unwavering courage.

post matric 2009


beauty therapy

soothe the soul Nadine Iqani

Beauty Therapist

Soothe Body & Skincare Studio

I obtained a two-year international diploma and underwent in-service training at Tops Salons and Spas in Cape Town.

What makes for a successful beautician?

You need to be able to communicate and take an interest in people’s lives; to be able to relate to them, listen to them and be understanding.

Is experience as important as formal training? Yes, definitely. The more practical experience, the better.

What do you like the most about your job?

That I am constantly doing different treatments, so it never gets boring, and that I get to meet all types of interesting people. I also learn all sorts of new things from them every day.

Anything that you aren’t too keen on?

That would be the bookkeeping!

When I opened my own salon in November 2009.

What are your goals for the future?

To open a few more salons, and to source other beauty products in the market which are not available in South Africa and become a distributor.

What advice would you give aspirant beauticians?

Don’t become despondent, because salaries aren’t great when you are starting out. Remember that as with most things, practice makes perfect.

Describe your job in three words

Exciting, Social and Practical.

the more practical experience, the better

r u d d e n

What training did you undergo?

Clean the salon, make sure all the laundry has been done and ensure that the beds have fresh towels. Check the messages, the day’s appointments and stock levels. Do the books, cash up, balance petty cash and do the banking. The rest of the day is hands-on doing treatments with the clients.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

p e t e r

I always enjoyed doing make-up, hair and nails as I was growing up, and also wanted to be able to work for myself and be flexible timewise. I enjoy it when people leave the studio feeling better about themselves after I have finished giving them a treatment.

Describe a typical day in the salon

p h oto :

Why did you choose the beauty industry?

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Interfacing African Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Modern Sciences BACHELOR OF INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS (B.IKS) B.IKS is a multi-disciplinary qualification which has been designed to prepare learners with the necessary knowledge, skills and values relating to Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS). The qualification is based on a holistic approach to understanding IKS and lays a solid foundation for learners to gain academic and practical competencies.

■ Promote understanding of IKS globally including


Four year Degree Programme (480 credits)

■ Affirm African cultural values and integrate IKS

into the formal educational system. ■ Promote cooperation between educational

institutions, business, industry and local communities. ■ Contribute to sustainable livelihoods and development through utilizing IKS as a resource in innovation.

affirmation of indigenous knowledge holders.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS Matriculation with Exemption and/or Advanced Level Certificate


Public and private sector, within and outside South Africa. The fields include: science and technology, health, law, education, tourism, environment, agriculture, rural development, etc.

FINANCIAL AID Students can apply for bursaries and educational loans from various financial institutions such as: National Research Foundation (NRF), National Indigenous Knowledge Systems Office (NIKSO), National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Thuthuka, Fundza Lushaka, Edu Loan, Eskom, Telkom etc.


University of North West: (018) 389 2294 University of Limpopo: (015) 268 3133 University of Venda: (015) 962 8131 Department of Science and Technology: (012) 843 6314

Alternatively visit the following link/website for detailed information on a qualification: and use the following qualification ID 63429 to search for B.IKS



Knowledge sharing Why did you choose this profession?

Because African indigenous knowledge systems, ways of knowing and epistemologies have been dominated and marginalised by the Eurocentric and Western knowledge systems for more than 400 years. Interfacing indigenous knowledge in the education system is one strategy of decolonising and transforming the education system in South Africa, and Africa.

What training did you undergo?

After completing Matric, I enrolled with the North West University for a Bachelor of Social Sciences. I did my B.A in Indigenous Knowledge Systems and M.A in Indigenous Knowledge Systems at North West University, Mafikeng campus. I was also trained as an indigenous researcher, doing research in local communities and working with indigenous knowledge holders and practitioners including scientists and researchers.

What personality traits are required?

One has to be professional, compassionate, strategic and humble, as well as wise, innovative and creative. When working with people, arrogance and anger have no place.

how do you rate Experience versus formal training? Nothing beats experience. Capacity building for indigenous researchers and scholars is critical.

Describe a typical day in your line of work

Teaching and research is what I do most of the time. I don’t only spend time in the classroom, as I

Motheo Koitsiwe

Bachelor of Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Programme Coordinator North West University

know that community is another classroom where there is a wealth of knowledge to be gained.

Your future goals?

What do you like most about your job?

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your career?

That it provides me with an opportunity to engage with local indigenous knowledge holders, practitioners, other researchers, scientists and scholars both from Africa, and internationally.

Which aspects are you least enthusiastic about?

Spending hours in long meetings.

What’s been the highlight of your career thus far?

That would be when I enrolled for my PhD in IKS at North West University.

To become an indigenous knowledge professor.

Indigenous knowledge is broad, complex and multidisciplinary. Therefore, it is advisable for one to have a specialisation in IKS. For instance one can specialise in aspects of African cultural astronomy, African metallurgy, African indigenous science, African traditional healing systems and practices, etc.

Describe your job in three words

Interesting, challenging and innovative.

Training and research is what I do most of the time post matric 2013

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fragrant appeal outline the traits of an aromatherapist

Often people who seek out aromatherapy are feeling stressed, vulnerable and sometimes even traumatised. This requires the calm, caring and genuine response of a therapist who has the natural inclination and learnt skills to be present with the person, sensitive to their needs and to offer a safe and containing space. It also helps to be physically inclined for the massage aspect of the work!

experience versus formal training?

Formal training provides the framework within which the real learning takes place. Looking back over the past nine years, I can see how the treatment I offer has evolved. It now reflects a much deeper learning and understanding of my clients’ needs.

What do you like the most about your job?

I appreciate the quiet, calm, fragrant space that is created. I feel honoured to be part of the delicate process that unfolds with my clients. I enjoy the rhythm of the massaging and the feeling of muscles relaxing in my hands. I love seeing my clients emerge from the room looking soothed and peaceful.

do you have any dislikes?

Olivia Main


Why did you choose this profession?

As a youth I was fascinated by the inner processes of the human psyche, the physiology of the human body, and the effects that these had on each other. I was drawn to playing a listening and nurturing role within my relationships, and seeing the relief that this brought to those people was meaningful to me. I knew then that I wanted to work with people in a supportive, healing capacity.

Marketing, and the occasional derogatory comment about my massage skills at a social event!

What are your future goals?

I would like to be able to facilitate deeper insight into my client’s mental and emotional issues. I’m currently studying psychology and hope to be able to offer more than basic counselling in future.

advice for newcomers?

If you enjoy massaging people, and are curious and sensitive about their needs, you can’t go wrong because almost everyone loves to be massaged!

p h oto :

s a m

c o l l i n s

What training did you undergo?

I studied with a renowned aromatherapist in Cape Town, Moyra Metcalfe, at the South African School of Aromatherapy. It was a three-year diploma that included Aromatherapy Theory and Massage; Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology; Counselling Skills; First Aid; and Community Service. Afterwards, I went on to complete a three-month Deep Tissue Massage course.

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post matric 2013

i appreciate the quiet, calm, fragrant space created


the face behind the camera Peter Rudden

Cameraman / video editor freelance

What do you enjoy most?

Why did you choose this profession?

It was more like it found me. Ever since my father taught me to take snaps with his Rolleiflex, I have been interested in photography. After trying my luck and failing miserably in the world of theatre, I decided to take a shot at the video industry; best move I ever made.

What training did you undergo?

I was already 25 when I enrolled to do Video Technology at Durban Technikon. At the same time I started working as a camera assistant at a local video production company. Early on I started earning money and gaining experience working, so the studying only lasted a few months!

p h oto :

s a m

c o l l i n s

Experience VS formal training?

I believe that camera work and editing are a visual art. Someone can teach you how the camera and editing software works, but if you

So far my job has taken me to 34 countries around the world. I get to experience different cultures and meet interesting/famous people. don’t have an eye and feel for it then although you will be able to do the job, you won’t excel.

What makes a good cameraman/editor?

A good cameraman needs to understand their client’s needs, as well as the required look and feel of the job. They must have a good knowledge of their equipment and the ability to capture well framed, technically correct images. A video editor needs to know the editing software backwards, be able to work fast and have a good feel for laying down images.

Describe a typical day

The great thing about this job is that no day is ever typical. Once all travel arrangements are in place, check and pack all the equipment needed to do the job and head out to location. Once there, work out the best way to shoot what’s required, set up the gear and off you go. Jobs can be long (lasting weeks) or short (just a few hours).

i have filmed presidents and rock stars

what don’t you like?

To get to places involves travel: schlepping boxes of gear to and from airports, in and out of cars and in and out of hotel rooms is not fun. I also let my family down a lot when I am called away on assignments; this makes me sad.

your career highlights?

I have filmed presidents, rock stars, famous actors and incredible achievers, dodged bullets, and walked in a field of land mines with Lady Diana.

your goals for the future? To make enough loot to retire in style and sit back and chill at my beach house in Scarborough!

What advice would you give wannabe videographers? Hands-on experience is vital. Rather spend three years working as an assistant than going for a job with a piece of paper in your hand. Reputation is everything... you don’t get many second chances.

your job in three words Best job ever.

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quantity surveying

Constructive consulting Michael Kleve

Professional Quantity Surveyor Mike Kleve Quantity Surveyors

I read an article about it whilst I was in matric. The skills required by a quantity surveyor appealed to me and I applied to study at both UCT and Technikon. I was fortunate to be accepted at UCT.

What is a Professional Quantity Surveyor?

Quantity surveyors act in liaison with architects, consulting engineers and contractors to safeguard the client’s interests. They are independent experts who operate in a specialised area of the construction industry; the financial consultants of the industry whose training and experience qualify them to advise on cost and contractual arrangements, as well as providing property development advice.

What training did you do? I studied the five-year degree course in Quantity Surveying, BSc (Quantity Surveying), at the University Of Cape Town.

Is experience as important as formal training?

Yes, I believe it is. Any candidate quantity surveyor should be prepared to spend at least three years gaining experience, and providing a logbook of that experience in order to register as a professional quantity surveyor.

Describe a typical day on the job

Days normally involve meetings (either in the office or on site) and telephonic and written communications with professional persons including architects, engineers, building contractors and clients. Alternatively, the day would be spent preparing or checking calculations for estimates, working on tenders, monthly certificates and final accounts.

What do you like the most about your work? The opportunity to provide accuracy and detail whilst under

What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Starting my own sustainable registered quantity surveying practice has been the highlight and most rewarding part of being a quantity surveyor.

What are your goals for the future?

To grow Mike Kleve Quantity Surveyors in order to provide a quantity surveying service not only locally and nationally, but perhaps also internationally.

What advice would you give to someone starting out on this career path?

Be patient and be prepared to learn the basics from a registered professional quantity surveyor.

Describe your job in three words

Professional, pressured and analytical.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to work in other parts of the world

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r u d d e n

Why did you choose this profession?

p e t e r

You should be highly numerate and analytical, enjoy working with finances, pay attention to detail and possess good communication skills – both written and oral.

pressure, and to meet realistic deadlines for projects that have been properly planned and/ or designed and have a good chance of fruition. My training and experience as a quantity surveyor has given me the opportunity to work in other parts of the world including Namibia, United Kingdom and the Middle East.

p h oto :

Is there a type of personality best suited to this work?

Have you decided what you want to do after matric? Enroll now for your National Diploma (N4-N6) at West Coast College Offerings include: Business Management, Management Assistant and Human Resource Management Other Offerings:

National Certificate Vocational Requirement: Grade 9 Office Admin, Management, Hospitality Education and Development, Primary Health Automotive, Fabrication, Fitting and Turning, Welding & Electrical Infrastructure Construction

Trimester Studies N1-N3 Engineering Also available: Learnerships, Apprenticeships and Trade Testing

For more info contact: 022 482 2425

take note ‘MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE NERDS – I MEAN THE CLEVER PEOPLE!’ Vimlesh Govender, Second Year, University of KZN




Strategic advice on making the most of first-year at college or varsity from those who have bravely gone before you… ‘YOU MUST BE ABLE TO WORK UNDER PRESSURE.’ Yandiswa Gxwala, Public Relations, CPUT WITH Zenande Rawuzela, PR, CPUT ‘IF YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO YOU WILL SURVIVE BECAUSE EVEN THE HARD WORK IS FUN AND GAMES.’ Deshen Padayachee, Animation, City Varsity ‘SUCCESS IS LIFE. DON’T FORGET TO LAUGH.’ Sibohle Lujalajala, Public Relations, CPUT

‘STOCK UP ON ENERGY DRINKS.’ Miki Webster, Industrial Design, CPUT

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‘MAKE SURE YOU PRIORITISE AND FOCUS.’ Sihle Qekeleshe, Public Relations, CPUT







25 L E A R N

‘PRIORITISE AND REMEMBER – PARTYING DOES NOT COME FIRST.’ Caroline Meyer AND ‘TAKE A GAP YEAR.’ Roland du Preez Multimedia & Design, City Varsity

‘FACE YOUR FEARS. DO MORE ESSAYS.’ Eduard Adams, Acting, City Varsity ‘SLEEP WHILE YOU CAN. REDUCE HANGOVERS.’ Evan Hughes, Industrial Design, CPUT


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CRAM, BAM, NO THANK YOU MA’AM How not to study by award-winning magazine editor, funnyman and high school procrastinator Robbie Stammers.

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post matric 2013

accessories for the eighth time and began studying. Flash forward to midnight and I felt suitably impressed with myself, closed my books and hit the hay with the intention of waking up at sparrow fart to go over my revisions one last time. Problem was, I could not sleep. I was still so wired from the BioPlus that I felt like a hamster running full blast in its little wheel, or a prisoner of war being tortured with jack cables clamped to his nipples! I think I managed just one hour’s sleep after the BioPlus wore off at 4:30am. I then slept like the dead, until being shaken awake with ten

minutes to go before my lift arrived. I was so out of it during the exam that I would have made the perfect extra in a zombie movie. I didn’t remember a damn thing from my night of cramming, and I can assure you that even Julius Malema’s woodwork marks looked amazing compared to my results. That was the first and last time I tried BioPlus, and I subsequently dropped Science for my final year (or it dropped me, I cannot recall). I don’t recommend you chaps copy my tricks, and if you do, at least read the instructions on anything that offers you mental alertness before you slug any back!


movie, perhaps it’s time to put the highlighter down and read instead of colouring in. Stop nest building. I know that in the time of major exam stress one can suddenly feel the urge to fix up your working area. This results in you spending two hours crafting the perfect study zone, right down to the lighting in the room and zen positioning of everything on your desk. Don’t do it. Everything is just fine the way it is. Forget the phrase “I will just reread my notes”. This does not count as studying. Especially if you are doing it whilst watching X-factor.




Hoarding things. Many students take to stockpiling hand outs, photocopies, printouts and textbooks in the days leading up to exams. You are not squirrels and the simple fact is that having loads of books around you is not going to make you any smarter. Overuse of highlighters. These pretty kokis might also be known as Magic Markers but they are not really magic! They do perform a great function by making the page light up with lovely, bright colours, but they don’t instantly upload data to your brain, you need to do that all on your own. If your textbook starts looking like a rerun of the TRON

S H U T T E R S TO C K /



A few more things to avoid when preparing for exams...

I L L U S T R AT I O N :


et’s kick off with the definition of Cramming… “An emergency testpreparation strategy that involves an attempt to absorb copious amounts of information in a short period prior to an exam”. Or, a last minute memorisation technique that only lasts for the short-term. We’ve no doubt all been there; it’s the moment that finds you staring down the barrel of exams with the hideous realisation that you’ve left everything way too late. I remember the night before my Grade 11 mid-year Science exam like it was last week. It was the one subject that I had skirted around, under and away from, and now here I was on the eve of the exam in an absolute panic. But my ability to make a plan was second to none, even then. I called mom and asked her to purchase me some BioPlus en route home from work. When she arrived back with the answer to all my problems, I snatched the bottle and read the instructions. “Physical energy and mental vitality that will last for hours” I was sorted! Off I went to catch the latest episode of South Park before dinner. By 8pm I had settled down at my desk. I took a few big slugs directly from the BioPlus bottle, pulled out my highlighters, rearranged my