Energy

Education is everything in energy

Karel-Steyn-SAEE-President.jpg

Electricity shortages and load shedding are currently top of everyone’s mind, with economists believing that growth is hampered because of this. Yes, load shedding is uncomfortable and challenging for businesses but the reality is that this also creates many opportunities and we WILL eventually get through it.

Notwithstanding what we currently experience or believe; the shortages of electricity are not the biggest challenge facing South Africa. Place yourself in the following position: you’re fortunate in that you passed Grade 12 and got accepted into an institution of further learning (be it a college, university of technology or university).

You study and work hard, pass and enter the job market – but you struggle to get a job. You then even borrow money from family and friends and do additional courses, attend some seminars, anything to improve your marketability in the hope of getting a job, but still without any success. Time passes and you are now already a few years out of university but still cannot get a job.

Some of the alternative solutions might not be all that legal, but you need to do something to address your basic needs of food, shelter, relationships, etc. You do not want to do illegal things but you have to. You ask yourself questions like – why could I not become one of the privileged few? What makes them better than me? And you start to hate those who have more than enough. You are now part of a vicious and terrible cycle. The saying regarding “idle hands…” is most appropriate.

The reality is: according to LFS, there are 7.1 million youth, or 43% of all 18 to 34 year-olds in South Africa who are not in employment, education or training. This figure excludes others who do not fall within the definition of ‘youth’. This is a real problem.

No-one can solve this problem alone. It must be done with the involvement of those seeking employment, those who can create employment, those who need to assist in honing and developing the necessary skills, as well as (an often more important) those supporting the initiatives. This means everyone because; alone we’re a drop – together we’re an ocean! South Africa needs us all –you and me – to participate.

Karel Steyn, SAEE president

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