The Department of Public Works prides itself on its external bursary programme, which has changed the lives of many young people across South Africa. 35 students in 2017 have been awarded the chance to have their academic studies funded for by the Department of Public Works in the professional fields of Quantity Surveying, Engineering, Architecture, Construction Project Management and Property Development. Students are employed by the department on completion of their studies where after the department trains them as candidates with additional assistance to be professionals in their fields of study.
Management from the Southern Regional office has expressed excitement to sharing the success stories of the three young women who have qualified as professionals. The women are not only a shining example of what a young person can achieve but an example to many young black women who have always aspired to work in a male dominated environment and are able to excel to the best of their abilities.
(Above: From the left) Lusanda Xozwa a Quantity Surveyor,
Nikiwe Mvuyana an Architect and Kuhle Mhlongo a Quantity Surveyor.
The ambitious and energetic women aspire to be role models to young and upcoming students in the KwaZulu-Natal province and entire South Africa. They wish that young women should learn self-discipline and in essence become the best versions of themselves. In one of his speeches, the late Nelson Mandela said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light and not our darkness that most frightens us. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same, as we are liberated from our fears, our presence automatically liberates others”. It is my belief that these women will bring much liberation to many, especially young women and as they shine their own lights, they will influence others to do the same.
Lusanda Xozwa, is 28 years old and is currently pursuing her Masters in Land and Property Development Management. She believes that people should never remain comfortable in one place in their lives but should always dream bigger than their current circumstance. Kuhle Mhlongo, who is also 28 years old is pursuing her Masters in Land and Property Development Management. Kuhle encourages young people to take Mathematics as a subject in high school because it is crucial in becoming a professional Quantity Surveyor. Nikiwe Mvuyana is also 28 years old; she completed her Masters in Architecture in 2015. Her role models in life are “all the black women who have pushed through all the adversities, criticisms, doubtful comments and have become a success”. She hopes to pursue a PhD in the near future.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Public Works will continue to profile such stories to the world. These are a few among many pockets of excellence, which show that anything is possible through hard work, commitment and dedication. These young women have worked diligently which has paid off. Indeed this is an encouragement to the youth about what the external bursary programme can positively offer. This programme registers results and advances socio-economical change for the young people of South Africa.