Matrics from Trafalgar and Vista high schools got a taste of what a job in law enforcement could look like, during a careers expo held yesterday, Wednesday January 30.
Held at Trafalgar High School, it was organised by The Western Cape Provincial Youth Desk, a department of SAPS, and exhibitors included the Cape Town Central police station and the City of Cape Town.
The pupils were encouraged to make good choices for their futures.
Captain Thembi Gwe, of the SAPS Provincial Youth Desk, said they were visiting schools around the Western Cape, creating awareness and getting pupils to talk about their concerns.
The expo, she said, would give the pupils “more options on what they want to do with their futures”.
There were SAPS careers that went beyond just chasing criminals on the streets, she said.
Captain Gwe told the pupils that in SAPS there were opportunities for pilots, journalists, ballistics and forensics experts, lawyers, doctors and human resources officers, to name a few.
“We also offer bursaries to those who want to further their studies if they are part of the SAPS.”
But it was vital that pupils avoided getting a criminal record, she said.
“You need a plan for your life. Stay clean and focus on becoming a better person. We don’t want criminals in the SAPS, and it will take you 10 years after you have committed a crime to get your name cleared before you can apply again.”
Fraser Strydom, from the City’s traffic services, urged the pupils to stay out of trouble.
“If you come with a criminal record, your application will be chucked out. Your future depends on you,” he said.
Vista High matric pupil Hulda Makiese said she was still mulling her career options.
“I am particularly interested in doing detective work and investigation. I would love to be a part of that, and I learnt it’s not that hard to apply.”
Alziwa Bija, also from Vista High, said he had been intrigued to hear about the “many options for us to choose from”.
Yohali Ilunga, of Trafalgar High, said she was happy to hear there were options in the City for engineering as she liked physics and maths.
“With the City, you can learn how to fix roads. There’s more to it than it seems. It was also interesting to find out that all the different departments work together.”
Treatwell Pamhidzai, also from Trafalgar High, said police forensics sounded like an “interesting career choice”.
Ghakeemah Sieed was glad to hear about the bursaries.
Trafalgar High’s head of life orientation, Roegshana Hendricks, said the expo had broadened the pupils’ horizons.
“I’m sure some of them want to pursue careers in SAPS and law enforcement, and this will give them the know-how.”