Youngsters helped to get learner’s licences

Some of the 19 youths from Manenberg and Tambo Village celebrate outside the testing centre after passing their learner’s licence tests.

Young people from Manenberg and Tambo Village are one step closer to making themselves more eligible in the job market, thanks to a City of Cape Town initiative which gave them an opportunity to acquire their learner’s licences.

A total of 19 youths from Ward 30 passed their tests through the Community Action Plan (CAP) pilot project initiated by the City’s Urban Regeneration Department.

It identifies challenges in disadvantaged communities and proposes interventions that would have an immediate impact. Among these is the need for driver’s licences.

Sub-council 14, which Ward 30 is part of, was among the sub-councils the department collaborated with for this project.

Ward 30 councillor Bonita Jacobs said funds from her ward allocation had been set aside for this initiative.

“In the past, we would host events for the youth, but now we are more focused on offering the youth skills training. Learner’s licences can open up opportunities for them, as most job requirements today ask for a driver’s licence,” Ms Jacobs said.

Learner’s classes were held at the Tambo Village hall and were hosted by One Stop Driving. The assessment booking, learner’s classes by the driving school, transport to and from the Fish Hoek test centre, and catering were all paid for as part of the CAP initiative.

Meagan Jaffer, 21, from Manenberg, said she grabbed the opportunity when she was told about it.

“I matriculated last year and an opportunity like this only comes around once in a while. Not many of us have the money to go for classes and pay for a learner’s licence. I am currently looking for a job, but it’s so difficult, and some job requirements ask for a driver’s licence before they even consider you. I am excited about my future now, because I am one step closer to get my driver’s licence and eventually, a job,” she said.

Abongile Jezile, 20, from Tambo Village, said she took a gap year this year to help support her family, but the lack of a driver’s licence made it difficult to get a job.

“I matriculated last year, and this year I wanted to help provide for my family. Most jobs want you to have a driver’s licence. At least I am closer to this goal now,” she said.

Lutho Zihlangy, 22, also from Tambo Village said he could not wait to get his driver’s licence.

“I am so happy for this opportunity, because I could not afford to pay for my learner’s licence myself. This will definitely help me achieve my future goals,” he said.

Ms Jacobs said in the next financial year, money will be set aside for driver’s licences.