R200K graduate: Companies step in to help unemployed mining alumnus

Life has taken a positive turn for David Lekomanyane‚ the mining engineering graduate who was due to start a low-paying internship in December.

David Lekomanyane is the first in his family to go to university. He completed his B Tech in mining engineering at the University of Johannesburg in 2015.

The 26-year-old from Ermelo in Mpumalanga has been contacted by three companies in the mining industry that have offered to assist him after they read about his plight on TimesLIVE on Wednesday.

The story also attracted the interest of a regulator in the energy industry that has asked him to forward his CV to be added to its vacancy database.

Lekomanyane has met with one company representative and has e-mailed his particulars to the other two prospective employers.

Overwhelmed with joy‚ the University of Johannesburg graduate said he was not ready to talk about the potential jobs yet.

“First I have to see what the companies have to offer and I will give feedback once everything has been finalised. As much as this has opened many opportunities for me‚ I also want to share this with other unemployed graduates‚” he said.

Lekomanyane completed his studies in 2015. His first-year university fees were covered by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). His third and fourth-year university fees amounted to an estimated R200‚000‚ funded by the Mining Qualifications Authority.

“I am passionate about mining and I am a hard worker. I know one day I will get the job I am qualified for‚” he told TimesLIVE.

Lekomanyane’s family survives on his grandparents’ pension grants and he still owes the NSFAS R32‚000. He has not been employed since finishing his studies at the University of Johannesburg. Most companies told him that they needed at least three years of work experience when he applied for posts.

“I was really touched by David’s story. It saddened me to hear that there are many young people with qualifications that are struggling to get jobs. That is why I decided to call him and see how we can assist‚” said Mandla Ngwenya of Entlearolo Trading‚ a contractor specialising in the mining industry.

Lekomanyane is the youngest in his family and the only one who has made it to university.

“I am passionate about mining and I am a hard worker. I know one day I will get the job I am qualified for‚” he told TimesLIVE.

By Bafana Nzimande – TimesLIVE


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