#YouthMonth: Celebrating Local Youth Empowerment (Abigail Marais)

Story: Abigail Marais | 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.

Abigail Marais, Intern at the Finance department and part of the communications and marketing unit, shares her experience:


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

A: I grew up in Venterstad and matriculated at Pellissier Combined School in Bethulie, Free State. I enrolled at Ikhala TVET College in Aliwal North, where I earned a National Diploma in Human Resource Management. I completed my in-service training at Steynsburg Hospital in 2017/2018. I decided to further my studies at Unisa. I am currently pursuing a Diploma in Law with hopes of obtaining a Law Degree or a BCom Law Degree.

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

A: I am currently doing an internship with Ubuntu Institute. I learned about this internship opportunity on Facebook.

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

A: With my background in HR, working at WSLM in the finance department has been a great learning experience. I have gained new skills daily, including using the SAGE 200 system, data cleansing, and data capturing. These skills are essential for an office administrator. Personally, I have learned that customer service requires patience and staying calm, even in stressful situations.

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

A: Since starting, I've developed skills in SAGE 200, data cleansing, data capturing, Contour, and assisting with indigent applications.

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

A: Youth Day is a national day of remembrance for the brave students and young citizens who participated in the Soweto Uprising. It’s a chance for today’s youth to reflect on the progress our country has made in providing fair opportunities to everyone. It reminds us that without the sacrifices of those who fought for us, much of what we have today wouldn’t be possible.

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

A: The impact has been minimal. Many people are still indebted to the municipality and remain unaware of available subsidies. I urge all pensioners and unemployed homeowners to apply for subsidies and pay their debts so that the municipality can deliver better services.

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 is to not hesitate to apply when vacancies are advertised. Be open to relocating and always be ready to learn new skills. It's important to maintain a positive attitude when applying for positions.