On Friday, 16 November 2012, ninety previously unemployed young women from across southern Africa graduated at the SA College for Tourism (SACT) in Graaff-Reinet. The women graduated with a Certificate in Small Hospitality Establishment Operations conferred by the School of Tourism, Hospitality &Sport of the Central University of Technology, and with four national skills development certificates in hospitality services awarded by the Culture, Arts,Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA).
The certificates were handed to the graduates by Ms Anele Mdoda well-known South African television and radio personality and author. In her keynote address Ms Mdoda encouraged the graduates to work hard at their own success which no one could guarantee but themselves. In congratulating them on a 100% pass rate, Ms Mdoda said that judging by the success in which they have managed their first step into the tourism industry, she was convinced that all faced a bright future.
Exciting news for the top two hospitality graduates was an all-expenses paid work experience of four months to aguesthouse in Portofino, Italy on the Mediterranean Sea, in 2013.
The top culinary art student received the Thornybush Collections trophy with a prize of R5 000 and a six months internship with the Thornybush Collections Executive Chef.
The day’s proceedings were brought to a close by Ms Jo-Ann Strauss, business woman and TV personality, who wished the graduates well on their journey.
Graduation crowned a successful year at the College during which it was recognized for its work by the likes of BHP Billiton who awarded the College an Achievers Award for the Best Tourism Training Programme in South Africa, and by the Mail & Guardian who bestowed on the College the Investing in the Future Education Award.
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