Internship programmes, which align to Government’s National Development Plan (NDP), encourage all sectors of the economy to develop youth. One such initiative, the Globeleq South Africa’s internship programme, which incorporates the Northern Cape’s Droogfontein Solar Power, launched some eight years ago, and has already prepared over 90 young graduates who have passed through the programme for career opportunities.
“Internships contribute to our country’s NDP, by ensuring the inclusion of youth in mainstream economy, in addition to stimulating and building the capacity of technically skilled people. Furthermore, it gives young people a positive space in which to kick-off their careers,” explained Zuki Ndlela, Economic Development Specialist at Droogfontein Solar Power.
One such youth, Omolemo Maribe (27), joined this internship programme at the beginning of 2023, as part of a cohort of eight. With a qualification in engineering, and hailing from Jan Kemdorp, just one hour outside of Kimberley, she is spending a year at Droogfontein Solar Power in Kimberley, Northern Cape to fulfil her internship.
“I choose to study engineering because of the love of science and because it’s a scarce skill in our country – more so for women. Working at Droogfontein Solar Power gives me a special sense of purpose because I get to serve the community I grew up in,” said Omolemo Maribe.
Omolemo is passionate about renewable energy and the opportunities that the sector offers, as South Africa emerges into the area of clean energy.
“I would like to learn and grow in the renewable energy industry, I would even like to partake in the development of newer, smarter renewable energy technologies. Right now, I’m getting to understand what it means to be a professional in the working environment and meeting deadlines and targets,” she added.
The programme demographics reflect over 80% Black Youth; and 40% Women Youth, with the explicit intention of seeing more women working in the industry.
“The internship means a lot to me because I have been given an opportunity to bring about change. I’m most excited about gaining worthwhile work experience and travelling to other renewable energy sites in other parts of the country, all of which is helping me to grow as a working professional,” concluded Omolemo.