#YouthMonth: Celebrating Local Youth Empowerment (Sebabatso Motsi)

Story: Sebabatso Motsi | 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.

Sebabatso Motsi, Intern, receptionist, shares her experience:

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

A: My name is Sebabatso Motsi, from Aliwal North. Raised by my grandmother, her wisdom and care have greatly influenced my upbringing. I started my education at Alheit Van Der Merwe Primary School and completed my Matric at Bishop Demont Senior Secondary School. After taking a gap year, I worked as a general worker at Ikhwezi Mphatlalatsane, which helped me develop essential skills. When the contract ended, I faced challenges finding another job due to lack of experience, so I enrolled in Public Management at Ikhala TVET College. Despite the setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the support from my friend and father motivated me to persevere and complete my studies.

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

A:  I learned about the opportunities at Walter Sisulu Local Municipality through a personal referral from Mr. Mokotedi Mpiti, who advised me to submit my CV and supporting documents for in-service training. My sister, Nelisiwe Vana, also shared information about the Ubuntu Institute Program's application opening, highlighting the importance of personal networks in discovering these opportunities.

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

A: Working for the municipality as a Public Management student has been crucial for my growth. Professionally, it provided practical experience, bridging the gap between academic theories and real-world public sector operations. It enhanced my skills in strategic planning and effective communication and allowed me to network with seasoned professionals. Personally, it instilled a sense of civic responsibility and pride in community development, challenging me to adapt and improving my problem-solving capabilities and resilience. This journey has been transformative, shaping me into a more competent and compassionate public servant.

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

A: Since I started, I have improved my communication skills and refined my problem-solving abilities. I have also enhanced my time management skills, learned to work collaboratively, and developed adaptability and flexibility. My critical thinking skills have improved, allowing me to evaluate information and make informed decisions. Additionally, I gained valuable public service skills, understanding community needs, providing excellent customer service, and contributing to the municipality's mission.

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

A: Youth Month and Youth Day are powerful reminders of the importance of youth empowerment and leadership. They reflect the sacrifices and efforts made by young South Africans to fight for their rights and shape the future. Personally, these occasions represent hope and opportunity for young people to make a positive impact. It's a time to celebrate their achievements and inspire them to continue pushing for change and making their voices heard.

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

A: My role has enabled me to engage with the community and understand their concerns, fostering a stronger connection between the municipality and its citizens. This promotes transparency and trust, and the experience has been rewarding, offering both professional growth and the satisfaction of serving the public and making a positive difference.

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: Stay informed about initiatives and programs offered by your local municipality or community organizations, including the municipal database. Networking is key, so engage with industry professionals and peers. Pursue educational opportunities, whether through formal schooling or online courses, to enhance your skills. Be proactive in your job search, prepare a strong resume and cover letter, and maintain a positive outlook despite challenges. Perseverance and optimism are your greatest assets. Use Youth Month to focus on your goals and take decisive steps towards achieving them.