A group of 50 offenders incarcerated at Boksburg Management Area elected not to allow their past mistakes and subsequent adversity brought about by their confinement, to deter them from a dream of a better future. These offenders seized opportunities presented to them during their period under incarceration to acquire skills that can help them eke out a living when they are released. The offenders enrolled for a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 2 skills development training programme in furniture making and spray painting at the Boksburg Management Area production workshops. The training programme was funded by the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing (FP&M) SETA.
Their dedication saw them successfully complete a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 2 skills development training programme, and culminated in the hosting of certificate award ceremony in Boksburg Management Area.
The certificate awarding ceremony was held to recognise the 50 rehabilitated recipients for their hard work and determination they put in during the period of their training, from May to August 2020.
The event started on a sombre note with the observance of a moment of silence in memory of the late Thami Vilakazi, who was the facilitator of the training programme. The Director of Leribe Training Solutions, Veli Tsomane, expressed his sadness and regret, that Vilakazi did not live to witness the fruits of his labour. “We have been in partnership with the Management Area since 2014, and have reached over 400 offenders through our interventions. Over 180 offenders have graduated in clothing manufacturing processes. As Leribe Training Solutions, we are committed to securing more funding so that we can continue to assist offenders to acquire adequate skills and training,” said Tsomane.
Reverend Fredolene Manganye said the awards ceremony resembled a sign that offenders were being given a second chance. “Rehabilitation requires one to have the willingness to correct themselves and work towards regaining the community’s trust, continue to do good, and goodness shall follow you,” she said.
Boksburg Area Commissioner, Henny Makhubela, acknowledged and thanked Veli Tsomane for his sterling service to the Management Area and the Department at large. Makhubela further thanked the production managers in the workshops for imparting skills to the offenders. “I am very passionate about what is happening today because skills development is at the centre of rehabilitation of offenders. This is the beginning of many things to come, I would like to ensure that there is an opportunity for further development of these offenders, by helping them to acquire the NQF Level 3 Artisan certificates, which will in future ensure that they can be qualified to run the production line independently,” said Makhubela.
Makhubela further implored the offenders to envision what they will do after they are released from the correctional centre. He also stated that his vision was to see the inmates leaving the correctional centre being rehabilitated, and with skills to create and receive employment opportunities in their respective communities, and not to go back to the life of crime.