Applications open for free skills development programme

 MIDDELBURG– The first 20 welding entrepreneurs, who successfully completed their training, received their certificates in Middelburg, last week.

The Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative (MSI), the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and MERSETA took hands to train young Mpumalanga artisans free of charge.

The provincial Informal Welders Recruitment Programme was officially launched last year in Middelburg with the aim of assisting rural- and township- based informal artisans to be in a better position to access the industry and grow their own businesses to create much needed employment in Mpumalanga.

“I am happy that we had successfully hosted our graduation ceremony for our students. This had been achieved in collaboration with MERSETA, which is the national skills programme responsible for the manufacturing sector. Through this partnership, we will provide an opportunity in which people could be trained and introduced to the industry,” MSI CEO, Victor Mashego, told NewsHorn.

“It is not a secret that South Africa’s economy is not creating jobs, so this initiative would see graduates being become business owners. Our aim is to create future Black industrialist with the necessary skills, knowledge and resources to create sustainable jobs and contribute to the growth of rural and township economies,” he said.

“Our strategy includes the establishment of a Mpumalanga Welders & Fabricators Portal and an easy-to-use APP to assist our recruited Small and Medium Enterprises (SMME’s) to access international and not only domestic markets.”

Mashego said most of the informal welders’ clients are based within the areas they operate, yet their exposure within their own areas is limited. He said MSI had partnered with the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) to erect the first Mpumalanga Trade Market for steel and aluminum products. These organisations would employ Fourth Industrial tools to unlock the potential the sector has to change the status quo of unemployment in the province and the country as well.

Mashego said, “We have already partnered with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), MERSETA, the Forek Institute of Technology (FIT), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF). Two of our other major stakeholders in this project include Columbus Stainless and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.”

This year another 100 students would be recruited throughout the province, with training to start in March.  Application for the 2020 training session is now officially open.  For more information, contact MSI on (013) 246 1528 or visit  






Related posts