Centres of Excellence offer young offenders a second chance

Office of the Premier 21/08/2019 - 12:53

Lerato Mailoane

Gerald Groep, is a recovering drug addict who moved to Johannesburg from the Free State seeking assistance on how he can beat his addiction.

He is currently residing in Johannesburg and he is glad he made the move because his life has changed for the better after he was enrolled at Xilembeni Project Centre of Excellence in Ekurhuleni.

"I moved here, to access free rehab facilities but not only did I beat my addiction, I also received training to be a carpenter.

"An opportunity to change your life doesn't come daily and I grabbed this opportunity with both hands" he said.

Groep is one of the recovering addicts who was afforded to study carpentry at the centre through the Department of Social Development's partnership with the centre.

The centre has, to-date successfully trained a total of 275 young people in different artisan trades at NQF level 2. In the current financial year, Xilembeni Project has committed to training 200 people. 

Launching the centre on Tuesday, 20 August 2019, MEC for Social Development, Thuliswa Nkabinde Khawe said the launch is in line with the commitment she made during her budget vote speech.  

"As part of strengthening rehabilitation services and equipping beneficiaries of substance abuse treatment with skills to survive beyond their treatment at the centre, we will be launching three centres of Excellence in Sedibeng, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni," she said.

The programme was created to assist  recovering drug  addicts, those in foster care and those in conflict with the law to take part in skills development programmes such as brick laying, tilling, basic boiler making, electrical, plumbing and computer training.



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