Mukhodiwa Vele’s is thrilled to finally fulfil her wishes of becoming a professionally registered Town Planner.
Her relationship with MISA started back in 2012 when she became a recipient of the of the MISA bursary scheme.
Vele, a twenty eight (28) year old woman, was born in the Luheni Village in Limpopo province. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from University of Venda.
To fulfil her dream of becoming a professional Town Planner, Vele had to overcome many obstacles. After completing her matric in 2008, she had to take a gap year as her unemployed single mother could not afford to send her to tertiary to further her studies.
In 2010 her dreams seemed to be drifting away from her again as she had to drop out of the University of Johannesburg due to lack of financial means. In 2011 she registered for an electrical engineering course but had to drop out to pursue her dream qualification.
In 2012 she got accepted at the University of Venda to study towards Urban and Regional Planning.
Upon completion, she got enrolled in the MISA Young Graduate Programme and was placed at Chief Albert Local Municipality. The programme aims to provide work experience and mentorship for graduates in different technical and built environment fields so that they can become professionally registered in relevant professional bodies.
“Growing up, I didn’t even know there was a profession called Town planning. My interest was sparked when I was doing Grade 10 at Ratshilumela secondary school. I took geography as one of my subjects and learned about settlement patterns,” she said.
“In one of our textbooks there was an insert about urban designers and city planners and I got curious as how they work. When I was doing Grade 12, I started to check which university offers Town Planning.”
Vele is one of MISA’s young graduates who benefited from a capacity building programme deploying where young graduates get deployed to municipalities.
“Being sent to Prince Albert Local Municipality in Western Cape Province helped me to gain more exposure in Town planning and land use management since Western Cape is the only province with its own policy called Western Cape Land Use Planning Act (LUPA),” she said.
“I don’t even think I could ever show my appreciation enough, from paying my university fees through bursary, for opportunity to get practical training as required by South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN), for the mentorship programme and for the support I got from the MISA officials when I was facing challenges on the last stage of registration with the council. MISA made my dream career reality.”
In a bid to optimise municipal infrastructure provisioning, MISA has currently deployed a total of 137 Young Graduates across all the provinces.