Focus on what you are here for- MEC Mokaba-Phukwana

The MEC for Social Development in Limpopo, Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana, encouraged social work students from the University of Venda (Univen) to take advantage of free education during her visit on Monday, 26 February 2018 at Research Conference Centre.

The purpose of the visit was to tackle issues concerning social work students.

The MEC congratulated the students for choosing careers which are aimed at improving other people’s lives. “You chose this profession because of your passion and love for your people. You decided to become part of the few who opted to contribute towards enhancing the livelihood of our communities. As the provincial government, we would like to commend you for not only choosing this field of study but most importantly for choosing education,” said the MEC.

“Thank you for realising the need to contribute towards building better and healthy families,” she added.

The MEC further said that the careers that they chose will improve the capacity of people and will also address problems amicably. “You chose a profession that seeks to promote social justice in favour of individuals, families, and communities. This profession also instil sensitivity to cultural and ethnic diversity towards ending unfair discrimination, poverty and other forms of societal ills,” MEC added.

She also encouraged students to respect other people’s worth, human rights and dignity. “We must be competent, have integrity and take professional responsibility to care and be concerned for other people’s well being.”

The honourable MEC told the students that employment opportunities with the Social Development Department are abundant. “The community services we render need more of you to enrol as social workers. We must ensure that there is a social worker in every village with more than 100 households. We need whistle blowers everywhere to report any signs of abuse, tensions, frustrations, conflicts and aggressions so that we can intervene timeously,” She added.

Mokaba-Phukwana urged the students to relentlessly pursue their studies and complete on record time with flying colours. “This field requires outstanding patriots, who are more passionate and energetic. Focus on what you are here for, which is to study and get your degrees, and make everyone proud. All other things shall follow,” MEC said.

She told students that, South Africa alone experiences a lot of men and women abuse cases on daily bases. “Men are also being abused and we don’t talk about it. This is the reason why our jails are full of our fathers and brothers.” She said men don’t talk when they are being abused and that is a big problem. “ They keep these problems until such times when the abuse is at its level best then they will decide to kill the whole family or to act in an unacceptable way.” The MEC added that, if such cases can be uprooted at grassroots level, then we can have a healthy and safe communities. “This is a sign that, this country still needs more social workers to deal with such problems.”

“From now on, regard yourselves as social workers not as students. Start working whithin communities because we have a lot of issues such as drug abuse in our communities. We want our students to explore various opportunities and the opportunities are not only at the Department of Social Development but also at organisations such as mining, agriculture and within our communities,” she concluded.

We must produce graduates who are employable- Prof Makgopa

The Dean of the School of Human and Social Science, Prof Mokgale Makgopa, said Univen is striving to produce graduates who will be able to hit the ground immediately. “We are striving to produce graduates who are employable.” He thanked the MEC for honouring them with a visit and for noticing the importance of coming to encourage Univen students.

Prof Makgopa outlined that Univen is one of the few universities in the world that are offering a 4 year qualification in Youth in Development Studies. He encouraged the student to take their studies serious and study with passion.

Wisani Baloyi asked the MEC to bring back the bursary to help the poor

“Let’s keep working hard in our studies so that we can work for our families,” said the Chairperson of Social Work Student Association (SOWOSA), Wisani Baloyi.

Baloyi told the MEC that the bursary from DSD used to cater for many students from destitute families. “We are grateful for that but please bring back that bursary.” He pleaded to the MEC to also include students from Youth in Development Studies on that bursary.

From left to right: Kgomotso Rakgoale, Prof Mokgale Makgopa, MEC Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana, Dr Glory Lekganyane and Nkhumeleni Lalumbe

Issued by:
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525
Date: 28 February 2018