Ingraining service delivery in tomorrow’s generation

The new economy accelerates the need for local government to grow and develop young talent. This development must however ingrain a passion for public service delivery. CFO Dr Johan Tesselaar outlines how Weskus went about this with the Learners Class of 2023.

Most of the Learners, attracted directly from Matric, were placed in the Emergency and Disaster Centre where they were trained and coached to deal with residents at their most vulnerable.

Relevant knowledge.

Learners gained essential skills such as:

  • Empathy and Compassion.
  • Effective engagement skills.
  • Teamwork, as a call can trigger multi-party responses.
  • Listening skills.
  • Taking responsibility.
  • Use of cutting-edge technology, and
  • Urgent responsiveness to needs.

“They also grasped the importance of continuous development, innovation, and commitment. Regarding ongoing development, Head of our Emergency and Disaster Centre, Franquin Petersen, sets a shining example as he is now busy studying towards a doctorate in Emergency services. The Learners are also exposed to the very latest thinking.

Franquin coordinated the integration of our own emergency services, SAPS, and other similar municipal services into our Centre. This level of integration is never straightforward, but Franquin committed to Executive Mayor “Boffie” Strydom’s call for increased safety and security in the Weskus and made it happen. What did the Learners take from this? When it comes to service delivery they must deliver despite the obstacles”.

One Learner was placed in Brand Development, a key aspect of Weskus’s drive to attract investors and residents. He is learning from a top brand company and exposed to brand strategy, design, content marketing, and optimal use of digital assets.

Other Learners are in the CFO’s office where they are exposed to Finance Management and Administration, Auditing, and Supply Chain Management – all key to effective public service delivery. Prompted by Dr Tesselaar, some learners are also eyeing further studies in Public Administration.

Seeing a bigger picture.

“It is very important to expose Learners to decision-making forums. Some are selected to join the Executive team for key conferences and meetings, which builds confidence while allowing them to set their career goals by seeing a bigger picture”.

Will all the Learners remain at Weskus?

“Not necessarily. However, those that leave us to pursue other careers will have new skills, new perspectives, and new confidence as they insert themselves into our economy. At the very least, they’ll have a sense of what effective local government means and hold the public sector to account”.

Dr Johan Tesselaar
Weskus Distrik Municipality


West Coast District Municipality

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