SANBI’s Biodiversity Planning and Policy Advice division welcomed a number of ‘incubants’ at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens at the beginning of May 2013. The ‘incubants’ form part of the Groen Sebenza Jobs Fund project and will be based at SANBI for the next two and a half years.
Groen Sebenza is a major skills development and job creation project being piloted with support of the Presidential Jobs Fund. This partnership project aims to develop priority skills in the biodiversity sector and to create sustainable job opportunities for 800 unemployed graduates and matriculants.
Incubants’ who have joined the division include Boitshekwane Kgantsi and Kensani Mangena who will work on bioregional programmes; Tendamudzimu Munyai and Moore Malatji, who will work on biodiversity and land use planning; and Mpho Gumula who will work on SANBI’s emerging land reform programme.
Boitshekwane Kgantsi is from the North West Province, and completed a Bachelors Degree (Honours) in Environmental Management at University of Venda (UNIVEN). Kgantsi intends to grow and contribute to the sustainable use of South Africa’s natural resources. “I am grateful to be a successful candidate of Groen Sebenza”.
Kensani Charlene Mangena, from Soweto, holds a BSc Degree from the University of Johannesburg with Geography and Environmental Management as majors. “In the near future I plan to study further all the way up to PhD level. I hope to also one day see myself in a managerial position or, who knows, working as the Water and Environmental Affairs Minister of South Africa. Only time will tell.”
Tendamudzimu Munyai is from Thohoyandou in Limpopo and holds a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Venda (UNIVEN) as well as a Certificate in Public Administration from the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA). He is currently studying towards his Honours in Environmental Management through UNISA.
Moore Norma Malatji is also from Limpopo and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Venda (UNIVEN) as well as a BSc honours degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Limpopo (Turfloop).
Finally, Mpho Gumula holds a Bachelor’s Degree as well as an Honours Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Venda (UNIVEN). ‘I am passionate to learn and grow through the Groen Sebenza programme.” Mpho also hails from Limpopo.
Groen Sebenza which means Green (in Afrikaans) and Work (in isiZulu) brings young South Africans from previously disadvantaged backgrounds together with experienced biodiversity professionals to learn, grow and eventually gain the competence and confidence needed to embark on rewarding and meaningful biodiversity careers.
Tanya Layne co-ordinates the division’s engagement with Groen Sebenza: “This is an exciting opportunity for SANBI to grow and learn together with the young people we are mentoring. Two and half years is a decent time period to invest in this process, which should generate ample dividends by way of much needed capacity in the biodiversity sector and increased youth employment.”