_: Programme Director
Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande
Presidency Director-General, Dr Cassius Lubisi
CATHSSETA Board Chairperson, Advocate Brenda Madumise
CATHSSETA Board Members
Representatives from organized business and labour
Our esteemed graduates
Ladies and gentlemen
I thank you for the opportunity to address you on this important occasion of your graduation. I believe you are all very happy, as this is a very important achievement in your lives. Congratulations to all of you; you did well by attending the course, and persevering until to the end.
I am told that out of 55 staff members who enrolled for the three programmes that were offered, 50 completed successfully. Today we are celebrating in the first leg of the graduations, with the 23 who are here in Pretoria.
This is encouraging, and indeed a good value for money, because we have to be very efficient in the way we utilise our resources.
I know that there are people who do not take the training that is provided at work very seriously, but that is very detrimental, to the individual, the organisation and the nation at large.
It is important for all public servants to take the courses provided at work very seriously, and to complete evaluation tasks required at the end, so that they can demonstrate competency in the respective areas and improve their service.
This is good use of training resources and is a sign of responsibility and recognition of the importance of personal development. I am happy that you are now empowered to do your work much more professionally and efficiently.
I must emphasize that all of us here are playing a very crucial role in advancing the vision of the Presidency, which is Excellence in governance for a better life for all.
Among the key values and attributes that drive our mission of realising the strategic agenda of government is service excellence, dedication and passion, and we are able to realise these when we are properly developed.
Therefore the management in the Household and Accommodation section have been very perceptive in raising a concern about the need for improvement of services in this area, and in recommending the training.
We are very grateful, and most importantly we also convey our gratitude to the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality, Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) for funding this hospitality programme.
Ladies and gentlemen;
Sector education is very important in our country, particularly in addressing the skills backlogs created by racially discriminative policies in the past.
Lack of, and poor education affected employment possibilities, work performance and even mobility prospects for many of our people.
It was for this reason that we passed the Skills Development Act in 1998, among others to develop the skills of the South African workforce, to improve workplace productivity and competitiveness of the employees.
Through the workplace Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), established in terms of Chapter 3 of the said Act, we sought to encourage employers to use the workplace as an active learning environment and to provide employees with the opportunities to acquire new skills.
This is the role that CATHSSETA played so well, among others in enabling our staff members, here in Pretoria and in Cape Town to undergo this training.
We believe that this is an important contribution, and will also be crucial in advancing our work, and has also benchmarked you with your international counterparts.
Education is a life-long journey; all of us continue to learn new things and improve our quality of life.
Let us appreciate the opportunities that the Department of Higher Education is opening up to improve the skills level in the country.
I urge the private sector to continue its contribution to skills development, both with expertise and financial resources.
Thank you once more for your many years of loyal service to the Presidency.
I understand that most of you have been serving since the time of President Nelson Mandela, some perhaps even long before that.
Continue this important work of serving the country through making the Presidency function better!