#FutureFriday features Siphesihle Mathebula from Gert Sibande TVET College
By TVET Website
Happy #FutureFriday everyone!
On this #FutureFriday we are proud to celebrate 27-year old Siphesihle Mathebula, a qualified artisan from Gert Sibande TVET College in Mpumalanga. Studying through the NSFAS Bursary played an instrumental role in her success. She is currently employed as an Electrical Engineering lecturer at Gert Sibande TVET College, Standerton Campus, lecturing the following subjects: Mathematics, Industrial Electronics and Electro Technology. Her passion for engineering and boundless determination have led her to success in a challenging field.
Siphesihle believes it’s a beautiful tribute that her name means ‘a beautiful gift from God’ in isiZulu. She said, “It was never easy to get where I am today, but with hard work and determination come success.” Mathebula was born in Warburton near Ermelo, Mpumalanga. She completed her studies (NSC) at Warburton Combined School in 2011.
Mathebula has a brother who led by example in joining the engineering field, and she also fell in love with engineering. She was inspired by motivational speaker John Oscar Kubheka during a school visit in 2012. She immediately decided to enrol for Electrical Engineering at Ermelo Campus.
Mathebula stated that her college life was not easy, but her lecturers gave her support. “During my college days as a student, it was not easy, but with the support and motivation of good lecturers, today I am also a lecturer and a qualified artisan,” she added. She completed her N6 in 2014, and then in 2016 she took up apprenticeship training at Skills Academy for 36 months, where fundamental knowledge training was followed by on-the-job experiential learning, which was supplemented with core industry knowledge training and practice. She then went for her trade test. She passed and became a qualified artisan.
According to the National Development Plan, South Africa needs to produce over 30 000 qualified artisans a year to meet the labour demand by 2030. With such a high demand for artisans, it is vital to encourage more women to occupy the engineering field. “To all women out there, it is possible. It’s time for us to take a giant step towards our dream careers,” she said.
Mathebula also holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Education which she obtained from the University of South Africa and out of the 10 modules, she bagged six distinctions and she intends to do her Honours Degree next year. Mathebula plans on becoming an education specialist at Gert Sibande TVET College. “Specialised knowledge, rather than physical strength is required to be an excellent artisan. I urge women to conquer and excel, despite being in a trade dominated by men,” she advised.
Siphesihle Mathebula was a former Engineering student at Gert Sibande TVET College and is now employed there as a lecturer.