The South African Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr Lechesa Tsenoli, visited the Southern African Wildlife College to celebrate National Youth Day on 16 June and to meet with unemployed youth from all over South Africa who are currently being trained as conservation general assistants and field rangers at the Wildlife College.
The training is part of an initiative by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform which, through The National Rural Youth Service Corps, sent 220 unemployed youth from the various provinces to be trained in Conservation Ethics, Soil Erosion Management, Domestic and Field Infrastructure Maintenance, Management of Fire and Problem Plants, Fencing, Personal Finance and Healthy Living.
The Deputy Minister was accompanied by officials from both national and provincial offices.The day started with various sporting activities and celebratory songs, together with a welcome drill in the afternoon to receive the Deputy Minister and guests. This was followed by a brief presentation about the training programme by the CEO of the Wildlife College, Mrs Theresa Sowry.
A formal Youth Day celebration marking the importance of June 16 was held with all the students and other College guests. The Deputy Minister delivered the keynote address and urged the youth to be patient in their conduct and acts, stating that change "starts within yourselves". The day was concluded with a lively dinner enjoyed by the students, College staff and guests.