Update from the Community & Youth Development Department – Sept ’23

Update on the National Certificate in Natural Resource Management: Terrestrial Level 5 (NQF 5) Students 

By Christopher Kafoteka 

The National Certificate in Natural Resource Management: Terrestrial Level 5 (NQF 5) students were quite busy during the July – September quarter. Activities ranged from controlled grass burning as a practical application of lessons covered to field excursions to Songimvelo Nature Reserve and Kromdraai Camp.  

After learning how to use fire as one of the most effective tools to manage vegetation while covering the Vegetation Management module, the NQF 5 students got to put what they had learned into practice on 23 June 2023. Under the supervision of SANParks (South African National Parks), the students joined the College’s staff for a controlled grass-burning exercise on site. The purpose of the practical was to train and equip our future park leaders with practical skills on how to effectively manage their parks and to ensure that they understand different methods of vegetation management as well as the threats that are affiliated with the mismanagement of veld within the parks. As a park manager, one has to understand the importance of managing the veld for the benefit of the park.  

The NQF 5 students also went on a field Excursion for four (4) nights to Songimvelo Nature Reserve and Kromdraai Camp. The purpose of the field excursion was to understand and apply basic conservation management planning and Protected Area Management Planning (PAMP). The students learned a variety of content including law enforcement, the geological formation of the Barberton Makotjo Mountains, strategies for mitigating illegal mining, and co-management of the park by the community and the MTPA (Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency). 


On 23 August 2023, we bid farewell to the NQF 5 students who have now successfully completed their contact training at the College. It is now time for the students to apply the skills learned back at their workplaces before they can be fully declared competent and attain a National Certificate in Natural Resource Management at NQF Level 5. Mentors who help students in different Reserves will stay in touch with the College training team to help guide the students while in their workplaces. All students who successfully complete the activities-based Work Integrated Learning (WIL) will graduate on 30 November 2023. 

Whilst bidding farewell to the NQF 5 students, we were happy to hear from three of our past students who completed the Advanced Certificate in Trans-frontier Conservation Management (NQF 6) namely Dominic Mnwananwali from Tsau Khaeb National Park in Namibia, Nomsa Betty Kamanga from the Zambian Carnivore Programme in Zambia, and Octavia Makhubele from Talamati Bush Camp in South Africa. We were heartened by their progress as well as by the gratitude expressed about the value that the opportunity to participate in the course has added to their lives. 

To read what the alumni had to say, please click here.

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