On Thursday, 19 October 2017, the Overstrand introduced its newly elected 2017/18 Junior Town Council (JTC) at a specially held inauguration ceremony that took place at the Municipal Auditorium in Hermanus.
Now in its 14th cycle, a complement of 35 junior council members comprised primarily of grade 10-12 learners from the six high schools in the area, takes up their term of office under the stewardship of the new Junior Mayor Tumelo Mohaka of Qhayiya Secondary School, alongside his two Deputy Mayors Odi Chachinha of Hermanus High and Lorenzo Geldenhuys of Gansbaai Academia.
Managed by the Enlighten Education Trust in partnership with the Overstrand Municipality, the initiative affords junior council members with an opportunity to unlock their leadership potential whilst being exposed to elements such as public affairs, the mechanisation of local government and participation in the delivery of various development projects aimed at the general upliftment of the community and environment.
Taking to the podium to give his maiden speech as the newly-interned Junior Mayor, Tumelo Mohaka made an impactful statement, saying: “I look forward to working with my fellow junior councillors in coming up with fruitful ideas and ways to improve the community. As young South Africans, we can play a real and important role in the development of our country and have an ideal chance here to be effective change agents. Let’s make the 365 days that we serve count in ways that matter.”
On addressing the newly elected JTC, Overstrand Executive Mayor Rudolph Smith said, the words of Mohaka resonate strongly as it is against such background that the Municipality puts great emphasis on youth developmental issues. “Whenever I am in the presence of young people like you, I’m encouraged by the vibrancy, energy, and potential that exists. Sitting amongst you could very well be a future mayor, captain of industry, principal or a leader of any field you might choose. I say this confidently as I believe in all of you is the potential for greatness,” encouraged Executive Mayor Smith.
Forming part of the evening’s entertainment was a beautiful rendition of the Ed Sheeran song ‘Photograph’ by Hermanus High’s Matthew Smith and Jordan Linehan. This was followed shortly after by a stirring poem that left many with room for thought titled “What If” delivered by its composer, Qhayiya Secondary’s Natasha Makholwana. Not to be missed was the soulful performance of ‘You Raise Me Up’ by Nonqaba Futshane, also of Qhayiya Secondary, that had the crowd responding in rapturous appreciation.
The event concluded on the glorious note of Nonqaba leading the audience in the National Anthem before Unity Mtomile, JTC manager extended her thanks to the Municipality, the Enlighten Education Trust, the community and all stakeholders for their on-going support of the mentorship programme.