Aug 2023 1st edition

Trainee artisan dreams big

Written by Nosihle Shelembe

Youth Matters

Following in her late father’s footsteps, Mapule Mocwaledi is looking forward to a future that involves working with cars.

Growing up, the 30-year-old worked with her father at his automotive workshop, which helped her realise that sheMapule Mocwaledi on her way to being a qualified artisan. was good with her hands. Mocwaledi now plans to set up her own company but will do so as a qualified artisan.

She is currently training as a diesel mechanic at Isuzu in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, thanks to a partnership between the Department of
Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and the Agricultural Sector Education Training Authority (AgriSETA).

Her work includes inspecting, repairing and overhauling diesel engines.

“I was inspired to be an artisan because I enjoy working with my hands as it allows me to create, manufacture and repair. I would like to have my own company that will specialise in any work related to cars,” said Mocwaledi.

The partnership between the DPWI and AgriSETA aims to train 400 Expanded Public Works Programme participants as artisans.

The programme was funded to the tune of R66 million by the National Skills Fund of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and is part of government’s efforts to address the shortage of qualified artisans in the country.

Edwin Mashalane also
joined the two-year programme in January 2022 and is training as a diesel mechanic at Toyota in Middelburg.

“I am grateful for this opportunity as I am getting work experience, which will make it easier for me to find a job and ultimately start my own business where I will employ young people. I want to have my own workshop where I will service and fix cars,” said Mashalane.

Decade of the Artisan

DHET declared the period between 2014 and 2024 as the Decade of the Artisan to promote artisanship as a career of choice for South Africa’s youth. The campaign is aimed at increasing the number of qualified artisans in the country to sustain industries and support economic growth

DPWI currently has 348 young people participating in the programme. The department will look at implementing the next intake depending on the availability of funding.  

For more information about AgriSETA visit:

Did you know? You can visit your nearest TVET college to find out more about becoming an artisan.

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