South African engineering students off to India for solar panel manufacturing learning programme

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  • Twenty-two female Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) engineering students are set to participate in a solar panel manufacturing learning programme in India.

South Africa’s Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in partnership with the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA), briefed the media on the women’s participation in the programme on Friday.

The 22 TVET college engineering students hail from the Limpopo, North West and Free State provinces.

“Emanating from the 2023 South Africa chairship of BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa], the Solar Technology Training Programme for women in South Africa is one of the resolutions from the BRICS Women in Business meeting that calls for women to lead community initiatives and take part in resolving the energy crisis in South Africa particularly in rural areas,” said the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) in a statement.

“Access to electricity should always be easily available given the important role it plays in many aspects of human and wellbeing. It is an essential service and governments must make societies function better through the provision of this kind of basic [service],” said Minister Dlamini Zuma.

The programme is expected to provide theoretical and practical skills in solar panel manufacturing and installation.

The learnership programmed is supported by key stakeholders such as the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the EWSETA, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

The DWYPD said that starting and operating a solar business in South Africa with solar products, from panels and batteries to solar-powered appliances, can be a lucrative venture.

“The DWYPD in partnership with the EWSETA will continue to engage stakeholders such as the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Department of Small Business Development to open windows of opportunities to the female learners to venture into business when they return to South Africa in August,” said the department.

The programme is set to start on 1 May 2024.



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