Subtech Supports South Africa’s Youth
As part of our Socio-Economic Development (SED) program, and continuing with the objectives of Operation Phakisa, the Subtech Group decided to realign all of its SED initiatives to support South Africa’s youth. The main recipient of our 2017 SED initiative has been Phaphama Kepu! Subtech supports South Africa’s Youth
Phaphama was one of three students who received a bursary in 2016 from the Group during his matric year at Lawhill Maritime Centre. Once he matriculated Phaphama joined the Subtech Marine Crew as a trainee Ordinary Seaman on board the Ndongeni, who at the time busy with dredging operations for Maydon Wharf in Durban. At the beginning of 2017 Phaphama was offered a study loan to complete his studies at Sea Safety Training Group (SSTG) an opportunity that he simply could not pass up! Despite no longer being part of the Subtech Marine Crew, Phaphama is definitely still a part of the “Subtech Crew”. We caught up with him to find out more about life as a student and what his future goals are.
Interview with Phaphama Kepu
What are you currently Studying?
I am currently completing my Nautical Studies Diploma at SSTG.
How has Subtech helped you to undertake your studies?
Oh wow, it’s amazing how much they have helped me! Firstly Subtech paid my school fees in Grade 12 while I was at Lawhill. Then once I had completed my matric they offered me a position on the Ndongeni so that I could spend my holiday gaining practical experience. And most recently they have paid all my accommodation fees until I finish my diploma. Also, the amazing support – it is so difficult to describe how amazing Mandy and the team are.
What do you enjoy most about your studies?
From my work experience on the Ndongeni I have some practical knowledge that many of my peers don’t have, and I have really enjoyed being able to talk to them about my experience to help them understand the theory we learn in class. I also really love coming into class everyday knowing that I am spending time working towards my goal of becoming a Captain!
What have you found challenging?
Meteorology! I know it is one of the most important skills a seafarer has to have, but I sometimes find the terms confusing and there are a lot of them. But I do find it an incredibly interesting subject!
What do you want to do once you have completed your studies?
I’ll be finishing in November and I would really love to rejoin the Ndongeni! Basically so that I can get some more practical experience, complete my sea time and get my ticket as soon as possible. From there I want to continue working on board vessels and upgrading until I am a Captain. Ultimately my life goal is to eventually come back to shore so that I can help the future generations at Lawhill in the same that I was I was helped.