KZN Public Works acting head of department, Thulani Mdadane addresses student delegates and young professionals
It is not unusual for government to spend over R1m in supporting just one student studying towards a four-year degree in the built environment.
This is according to KZN Public Works acting head of department, Thulani Mdadane in his address to student delegates and young professionals at the opening of the 5th Going Green Student Conference.
The three-day conference is hosted by the Green Building Design Group, KZN Public Works and the Durban University of Technology.
The student component takes places in Durban while the subsequent two days with professionals and private sector participants is scheduled for the Public Works Auditorium in Pietermaritzburg.
Mdadane encouraged the audience to consider careers in the public service pointing to the internships and learnerships that were recently advertised in the media: “We want to make careers in Public Works attractive to young people.” Creating access for young people in particular was part of the Department’s broad programme of advancing radical economic transformation.
Reflecting on the Year of OR Tambo he referred to President Jacob Zuma’s quote from Tambo’s address to the first Congress of MPLA on 12 December 1977 in which he said: “We visualise a South Africa in which the people shall govern, in which the wealth of the country shall be restored to the people and where the land shall be shared among those who work it.” Mdadane stressed the intrinsic value of working hard to develop the country.
Turning his attention to alternative building technologies, the acting HoD said: “The green agenda is not option, it a requirement. It brings more than one benefit. It restores issues of environment, issues of heritage and indigenous knowledge. We need to understand our uniqueness as a province and what natural resources we have that can be used to our advantage.”
“Climate change affects every country on every continent – every man, woman and child
on our planet. It is the poor and the marginalised in the developing world who will be most affected by its impact. Climate change is disrupting national economies and affecting lives. It however represents both a cost and boundless opportunity.”
He urged academia and civil society to work with government and share their expertise in infrastructure development in the country.
Ms Yandisa Mzotsho, director in the branch responsible for Infrastructure, Maintenance and Technical Support followed Mdadane with a presentation on the Department’s Young Professionals and bursary and internship programmes.
The 100-strong audience later engaged with Public Works officials to explore the opportunities presented.
Below are Theogan Pillay (Candidate Electrical Engineering Intern) with Londiwe Sokhabase (PrArch Intern) and at left Ms Yandisa Mzotsho.