EWC Hosts Youth Imbizo
The Department of Correctional Services, in conjunction with the Gauteng
Department of Community Safety and Ekurhuleni Municipality, held a youth Imbizo
at Ekurhuleni West TVET College’s Kathorus campus in June 2017.
The aim of the Imbizo was the mobilization of students and the community to
rise, and contribute meaningfully to the creation of crime free zones and also
to encourage students to refrain from criminality and substance abuse, as youth
are key in the quest to build safe and secure societies.
South Africa celebrates the 2017 youth month under the theme "The year of OR
Tambo: Advancing Youth Economic Empowerment." The Department of Correctional
Services chose EWC to inform and educate students about the consequences of
criminal activities and substance abuse.
Another reason to focus on students is that June is regarded as youth month
and according to statistics, around 65% of offenders are young people. More than
7000 of South Africa’s prisoner population comprises young people, under the age
When welcoming guests on the day, the Principal of EWC, Ms Hellen Ntlatleng,
said the college prides itself with the state-of-the-art workshops available on
its campuses, which assist in up-skilling the youth of Ekurhuleni.
"In this very campus that is hosting you, we have built an Entrepreneurship
Incubation Hub, where SMMEs will be produced. The incubation hub will serve EWC
students and the community at large," said Ms Ntlatleng. She went on to petition
the Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional services to intervene and assist
in the challenges that the college is facing, such as taverns that are too close
to the institution, and substance abuse among students.
In her address, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, Gauteng MEC for Community Safety
encouraged young people to know the history of the country, especially what the
youth of 1976 fought for. She said she will play a significant role in ensuring
that history is integrated in curriculums as a compulsory subject.
More than 300 EWC students were entertained and educated by a drama performed
by female inmates from the Johannesburg Correctional Facility, entitled "Never
Ex-Offender, Themba "Skeem GP" Lukhele, attested through his motivational
talk that the Department of Correctional Services is doing well in terms of
correcting the behaviour of offenders through skills development, so that when
released from correctional centres, they are better people. "I opened two
companies while behind bars and named them Mastermind Lifestyle and Kingpin. One
of my companies recently did production, sound, stage and lighting during the
Ekurhuleni State of the City address," said Lukhele. He wrote a book about his
life before and during prison titled, Through it All, and he is currently
assisting with production of a series playing on DStv channel 161, called
Addressing the gathering, Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional
Services, Thabang Makwetla, emphasised that correction is a societal
responsibility. "Community participation in the social re-integration of
parolees and ex-inmates upon their release back into their families and
respective communities remains a key pillar in our programs to reduce
re-offending. It is through these interventions that we pave a way for the
ex-offenders to be welcomed with open hands in the community," said the Deputy
He further stated that in Ekurhuleni, the Department of Correctional
Service’s Correctional Supervision is responsible for a total of 2 688 parolees
and 630 probationers, who still serve their sentences from outside prison
The event was also supported by the Presidential Youth Working Committee
through Zama Qampi, who presented opportunities available for youth in his
Ms Hellen Ntlatleng, Principal EWC, addressing the Youth Imbizo.
Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Mr Thabang Makwetla.
Former inmate, Skeem GP, delivering a motivational talk to the attendees.
Kathorus Campus students, listening attentively.
Kathorus SRC Members, Kgomotso and Phindile.