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353 Youth will enter the tourism industry as world class chefs
353 Youth will enter the tourism industry as world class chefs
The Regina Mundi Church in Soweto today provided an inspirational setting for the last leg of the Department of Tourism’s Chefs graduation ceremony. The former apartheid safehouse, and now endeared beacon of our liberation, opened its doors in celebration of the 353 youth who successfully completed the National Youth Chefs Training Programme.

Addressing guests and graduates at the ceremony, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi- Ngubane appealed to the graduates to continue to actively participate in the opportunities presented by government to advance themselves, as we all strive to grow South Africa together.

“It is so apt that we are gathered in this church to celebrate the youth who today are realising the gains of a democracy that were hard fought for by both young and old.”

“Forty three years ago, the Regina Mundi Church opened its doors to the youth of 1976, shielding them from the police who sought to smother their dream of a right to quality education. Today, we celebrate your accomplishment, honour their legacy, and encourage you to continue being active citizens of our democracy as we all strive to build a better country,” said Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.

The NYCTP is an initiative of the Department of Tourism, funded through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). Initiated in 2011, the NYCTP forms part of the National Tourism Sector Strategy to address skills shortages in the sector, whilst contributing towards government’s greater objective of creating employment for the youth. To date the programme has trained more than 200 unemployed youth as chefs.

Graduates from the Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga Provinces were part of a group of 500 learners (nationwide) who participated in the NYCTP in the 2018/19 financial year. The training comprised of 30% theory and 70% on the job training, equipping learners with Level 1 to 3 skills in food preparation and pastry making. The graduates received globally recognised City and Guilds accredited qualifications from the SA Chefs Association, affirming their credentials as world-class professional chefs.

Speaking on behalf of the inland group of graduates, Carlson Madlala said he was happy to have been part of the NYCTP initiative, as it enabled him to pursue his dream. “I would like to thank the Department of Tourism for this programme. It has opened the door for me to follow my dream of being a chef.”
The NYCTP graduation took place as the country prepares to commemorate National Reconciliation Day on the 16 December 2019. The day will be observed under the theme - The Year of Indigenous Languages: Supporting National Reconciliation through the Promotion, Development and Preservation of Indigenous Languages. Minister Kubayi-Ngubane impressed on the youth the importance of preserving and sharing their cultural heritage in the workplace as the frontline ambassadors of the country, and the tourism industry.

“On 16 December, our country will celebrate National Reconciliations Day, putting a spotlight on the importance of preserving our indigenous languages.”

“As you enter the world of work, be cognisant that you are the frontline ambassadors of our diverse and unique cultural heritage, and a critical part of a tourist’s experience of our country.”

“Take pride in your heritage and utilise every opportunity to share your culture and language with tourists as it is one of the unique aspects that makes our country a preferred destination of choice,” concluded Minister.

For further inquiries:

Ms. Hlengiwe Nhlabathi-Mokota
Cell: 064 754 8426