College of Cape Town, proudly hosted its 17th Certificate and Diploma Ceremony


One of the largest TVET colleges in South Africa, College of Cape Town, proudly hosted its 17th Certificate and Diploma Ceremony last week.

The College of Cape Town (CCT) was formed in 2002 through the merger of four former technical colleges, ie. Athlone College, Cape College, Sivuyile College and Western Province Technical College. In welcoming graduating students and their invited guests CCT Principal Louis van Niekerk complimented the students’ hard work and commitment, pointing out that graduation was the moment to celebrate their discipline and dedication.

“You are writing the history of the College of Cape Town and we are very proud of you. Let this be the beginning of a journey of self-development, the beginning of your endeavour to unlock your potential so we can all benefit,” said van Niekerk. In addition to the thousands of students receiving their diplomas and certificates, a handful were rewarded as top achievers in their courses and faculties. Choosing these top achievers is based on two main criteria. ‘Attendance is very important for us, and the achievement or mark of the student, so it’s a combination of the two. “We want to promote not only output of results but also the students’ commitment to their studies. Also, some of these students are really challenged to get to the College, so we want to recognise that,” he explained. This year van Niekerk chose two students to receive the Principal’s Award, which reward not only the student’s exemplary results and attendance record, but also considers their background and the obstacles they overcame to study. “On the one hand I saw this one student who is absolutely committed, who met all the criteria. On the other side, there was a student who met all the criteria in terms of dedication.” “Yes, there is money involved, but this is more to motivate the other learners,” said van Niekerk. In addition to awarding the top achievers at their graduation ceremony, CCT’s campuses and faculties also make a point of hosting top students and their families at a variety of functions throughout the year where they laud both the students’ hard work and the support that made their achievements possible: “We want to create a type of role model to give the students a vision of what to strive for.”Principal Award Winner Mandlenkosi Mdunyelwa was happy that his mother and brother had come from Grabouw to watch him graduate. He chalks his success up the many hours he devoted to studying, every chance he got. The Financial Management graduate realised early on that he had to divide his time equally between subjects he liked and those he struggled with and he is keen to study further after his internship at the Department of Social Development is done. Principal Award Winner Raylene Gertse also studied while working at the Christine Revel Children’s Home. The only time she ever missed class was when she had to accompany her son for medical checkups. Her award citation noted not only the many hats she wore as class representative but also that “she shows care and empathy to the most vulnerable children, putting in extra time when required over weekends to cover shifts.”


About 2500 College of Cape Town students graduated last week on the Crawford Campus, which used to be known as the Hewitt College of Education. Students graduated in five sessions across three days. In addition to receiving diplomas and certificates graduates were treated to a variety of motivational messages from guest speakers, including two new members of CCT’s College Council, Dr Errol Francke and Professor Johannes Cronje. Francke, a senior academic from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) who recently completed his doctorate focusing on disruptive innovation in small business, indulged in a moment of nostalgia when he address the students. He pointed out that he had sat in the same hall in the late 1980s to graduate with a teaching diploma and encouraged the students to look out for the mosaic tile outside the Admin Building which still depicts the Hewitt College legacy. “I remember sitting here, I was quite glad to be done with my first qualification, but also feeling apprehensive about my future career,” said Francke. He recounted a story about birds to emphasise the idea that everyone needs air to survive and thrive and challenged the students to identify their air or support. “Is it your parents, extended family, the organisations that support you, or your friends,” asked Francke as he challenged graduates to always take care of that support. Professor Johannes Cronje of CPUT delivered a lively talk on the interconnectedness of all people and knowledge online, reminding the students that studying at CCT taught them where to find knowledge but it is up to them to connect to that information. Graduating student Ghayaat Parker brought a tear to many an eye when she recounted how she came to study for her Level 5 Higher Certificate in Early Childhood Development. As a mother she wanted to establish a place where other working mothers would feel comfortable leaving their children while they went to work. Despite many health issues, looking after her own children and starting a successful chain of ECD centres, Sleepy Hollow Schools, Parker persisted with her studies and graduated alongside several of her employees. “I cannot begin to thank CCT for the accommodating and helpful staff. I believe nothing is impossible,” she said. In addition to motivational speeches, the audience was also treated to a range of performing artists. Ganeen Davids, Kim Louis, Claire Dublin and 12-year-old Xavier Strydom were all very well received but the singer who brought the house down was SAMA-nominated pop singer Jarrad Ricketts. An alumni of CCT who studied Graphic Design, Ricketts shared a snippet of his educational journey, reminding students and parents alike that your circumstances do not determine where you are going. So too did Craig Donald of the RLABS Entrepreneurship programme, who advised the graduates that their next step was to keep on learning. “Non-stop curiousity is needed,” said Donald who advised the students to always ask questions. Addressing the graduating students Acting Vice Principal: Innovation and Development Deon Halls reminded them they have already started building their professional image online through their use of social media. “Whatever you put out there is your footprint,” said Halls as he urged the students to always keep it professional online.


Principal’s Award

Mandlekosi Mdunyelwa

Rayleen Vanessa Gertse

Highest Achiever in a particular category across the College

Further Education & Training Certificate Hairdressing – Shanaaz Cornelius

Electrical Infrastructure Construction – Keith Waren Masvikeni

Mechanical (N3) – Matthew James Morgan

Mechanical (N6) – Sanele Bili

Early Childhood Development – Rayleen Vanessa Gertse

ITEC Beauty Therapy Diploma (International Programme) – Lisa-Joy Jonkers

Top achievers at qualification level

REPORT 191 General Studies: Hospital N6 – Asheeqah Abrahams

FETC: Ladies Hairdressing L4 – Shanaaz Cornelius

CISCO Network Academy L5 – Sergio Isaacs

Diploma ITEC Beauty Therapy L5 – Lisa-Joy Jonkers

REPORT 191 Business Studies: Financial Management N6 – Mandlenkosi Mdunyelwa

NC(V) Electrical Infrastructure Construction L4 – Keith Warren Masvikeni

NC(V) Hospitality L4 – Jamie Isaacs

REPORT 191 General Studies: Educare N6 – Tamlyn Paulse

REPORT 191 Business Studies: Business Management N6 – Muneerah Traut

REPORT 191 Business Studies: Management Assistant N6 – Eugene Ntombikayise Bonga

REPORT 191 Engineering: Mechanical Engineering N3 – Matthew James Morgan

REPORT 191 Engineering: Electrical (Heavy Current) N6 – Frieda Stephan’s

REPORT 191 Engineering: Mechanical N6 – Sanele Bili

REPORT 191 Engineering: Building N6 – Ndahangwapo Hafeni

FETC: Early Childhood Development L4 – Thabisa Spelman

Level 5 National Diploma: Early Childhood Development – Pearl Sullivan

Level 5 Higher Certificate: Early Childhood Development – Rayleen Vanessa Gertse