The implementation of The President Awards (TPA) programme for youth empowerment in DCS started in 1994 through the guidance of the late former President Nelson Mandela. The celebration at Boksburg Management Area was attended by TPA leadership, including Mr John May, its Secretary-General of its international arm, The Duke of Endinburgh’s International Award. Deputy Commissioner Personal Development, Dr Minette Plaatjies, led the DCS delegation and represented the acting National Commissioner James Smalberger.
Addressing the attendees, Dr Plaatjies said the department applauds the efforts of the TPA to equip the youth with critical skills. “This programme is a true testimony of the mandate of the department.” She said the department will forever be indebted to former President Mandela for his support of the programme. Dr Plaatjies called upon other institutions to help with the training and development of offenders and thereby breaking the cycle of crime. She said the country cannot afford complacency when about 60% of the offender population is youth. She said some may contribute by educating the public about the role of Correctional Services so that the public become more receptive to the reintegration of offenders. Patricia Nyakane, a parolee who served three-and-a-half years of a seven-year sentence for murder, attributed her positive attitude to the assistance she got from TPA programmes. She said her ambition was to finish matric since she left school at Grade 9.
Director Skills Development, Marion Johnson, said the TPA’s positive contribution to changing lives was reflected through Patricia’s testimony that was full of praises. TPA’s Head of Programmes, Nkagare Makhudu, said some of the notable achievements attributed to the TPA’s programmes are diversion of youth from high risk behaviour. He said this was done through engaging youth in, among other, cycling and hiking.
The implementation of The President Awards programme for youth empowerment in DCS started in 1994 through the guidance of the late former President Nelson Mandela.