#YouthMonth: Celebrating Local Youth Empowerment (Avile Sikhondo)

Story: Avile Sikhondo | Photo: Supplied

Walter Sisulu Local Municipality (WSLM) emphasizes the significance of Youth Month by highlighting the contributions and experiences of the local youth employed by the municipality.

Avile Sikhondo, Intern at the Property Rates unit, shares her experience:

Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

A: I grew up in a small village called Umlamli Village in Sterkspruit and matriculated at Tlokweng SSS in Palmietfontein, Sterkspruit. I then went to the Western Cape to further my studies at West Coast TVET College, where I obtained my N6 in Business Management. I am currently doing an internship at Walter Sisulu Local Municipality under the FASSET & Ubuntu Institute program.

Q: How did you first learn about the employment opportunities offered by the Walter Sisulu Local Municipality?

A: I learned about this internship on Facebook when I was hunting for an opportunity to gain Work-Based Experience and complete my National N Diploma in Business Management.

Q: How has working for the municipality contributed to your personal and professional growth?

A: Working at WSLM in the housing office has significantly impacted my personal and professional growth. It has taught me to handle confidential information, be cautious of deceptive information from clients, and ensure everything I work with is verified and up-to-date.

Q: What skills have you developed or improved upon since you started working with the municipality?

A: Since I started working, I have developed effective communication skills and learned how to use Sage 200 for tasks such as opening new accounts for clients and data capturing.

Q: What does Youth Month and Youth Day (June 16) mean to you personally?

A: June 16 commemorates the Soweto Uprising of 1976, a pivotal moment when young South Africans stood up against the oppressive apartheid regime, demanding justice, equality, and the right to quality education. During this month, I want the youth to reflect on the struggle that the youth of 1976 endured for us to have this freedom. We should honour their bravery and appreciate the opportunities we have today, including the right to quality education.

Q: How do you feel your work has impacted the community within the Walter Sisulu Local Municipality?

A: My work has positively impacted the community of WSLM by advising the public about the criteria necessary to qualify for a government-financed house. I also keep the housing waiting lists up-to-date to establish the community's housing requirements and ensure the correct allocation of houses to the right beneficiaries.

Q: What advice would you give to other young people in the community who are seeking employment or development opportunities, especially during Youth Month?

A: My advice to young people is to use social media platforms wisely, as there are many opportunities available. However, it's crucial to verify information to avoid scams. Vacancies are often posted on the social media pages of hiring organizations, so visit their websites regularly. Also, submit your documents to HR offices to be captured in their database, increasing your chances of being contacted for relevant job opportunities.