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2017 – 2018 Fruit Sector Programme - Meet Zizipho Makhoka

Age: 22

Residential area: Kayamandi

Household: Shares a house with her aunt and two cousins

Language proficiency: English and isiXhosa

Describes herself as: Goal driven, patient and smart

Ready to be the difference

Zizipho is employed as an intern at WIETA (Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trading Association). WIETA is a multi-stakeholder, non-profit voluntary organisation which actively promotes ethical trade in the wine industry value chain and broader agricultural industry. It does so through training, technical assessment and audits to assess members' compliance with its code of good practice. Stakeholders include producers, retailers, trade unions, non-governmental organisations and the government.

Earning R6 500 per month as a starting salary is entering meaningful work as per the PYDA Theory of Change. From this starting point she will be able to build a career and bring irrevocable change to her family, community and beyond.

Zizipho and 18 other young, talented men and women graduated in May 2018 from the intensive 12 month Fruit Sector programme at Pinotage Youth Development Academy (PYDA).

By achieving the required mark of 75% and above to pass each module (and the programme as a whole), Zizipho now has the knowledge and experience of the entire value-chain of fruit as well as related areas such as export, logistics and marketing. She forms part of the new generation of work-ready young professionals who have the skills and attitude to add value and bring positive change, as well as the capability to build bridges and social cohesion between the diverse races and cultures of South Africa.

She graduated with NQF Level 4 Certificates in Agricultural Export Logistics, Agri-Enterprises and Orchard Management as well as a number of other non-accredited courses, including a Top of Class industry-driven qualification, Office Administration and Fruit Processing.

40% of the programme covers several interventions and learnings in personal development which is is PYDA’s differentiator. Coaching and mentoring is inter-woven into every aspect of the programme, as is ongoing learning and a culture of accountability. It is the innovative integration of this dynamic learning environment that both teaches and models change which students embody in all aspects of their lives, enabling change in their families and communities.

Lastly, she completed her practical work experience at Fruitways and JF HIllebrand to embed the knowledge gained in the classroom.

In her own words

Which work placement did you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed working at Fruitways the most. I got a lot of exposure in the production stage where I worked with a lot of people with different personalities.

What was the highlight of your year at PYDA?

Celebrating my birthday with the whole class, having them sing for me and seeing them showing genuine love and appreciation.

Why would you like to work in the fruit sector?

Learning about the whole value chain has opened my eyes to the possibilities. It is an interesting industry with so many opportunities.

What are your career hopes and dreams?

I am learning a lot at WIETA and want to continue learning and growing so that I can take the next step in my career. I am excited – the future is mine and I have every capacity to tackle any challenge I might face.

For more information visit or join the Academy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the handle @PYDAcademy.

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