#YouthMonth: Celebrating Local Youth Empowerment (Anelisa Mhlontlo)

Story: Anelisa Mhlontlo | Photo: Supplied

Walter Sisulu Local Municipality (WSLM) emphasizes the significance of Youth Month by highlighting the contributions and experiences of the local youth employed by the municipality.

Anelisa Mhlontlo, Intern at the Planning and Economic Development office, shares her experience:

Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

A: My name is Anelisa Mhlontlo. I am a qualified Public Management student. I have worked at American Swiss as a Sales Associate for a year, where my duties included providing excellent customer service, operating the telephone system, managing accounts, restocking and merchandising the sales floor, and resolving customer complaints professionally. I have also interned at Walter Sisulu Local Municipality under the Community Services Section as an Executive Secretary for over eight months due to rotation. My duties included capturing attendance registers, operating the telephonic system, making photocopies, receiving and sending emails, arranging meetings, preparing relevant documents, recording minutes, writing reports and memorandums, completing procurements, assisting in booking accommodation, and ensuring officials are directed to relevant offices. Currently, I am placed under Planning and Economic Development (Housing Section).

Q: How did you first learn about the employment opportunities offered by the Walter Sisulu Local Municipality?

A: There was no specific employment opportunity advertised. I submitted my Curriculum Vitae and supporting documents for the database. Fortunately, Walter Sisulu Local Municipality is in partnership with Ubuntu Institute, which hired me as an intern under an 18-month work-based program.

Q: How has working for the municipality contributed to your personal and professional growth?

A: This placement has contributed significantly to my growth. I have gained confidence in dealing with community residents and resolving complaints. I have learned how to conduct myself as an employee, which will benefit me in future roles in both private companies and government institutions. This experience helped me obtain my diploma, allowing me to apply to other institutions as a product of Walter Sisulu Local Municipality. Now, I can proudly say I am a Public Management graduate.

Q: What skills have you developed or improved upon since you started working with the municipality?

A: I have developed and improved upon several skills, including communication, problem-solving, leadership, active listening, conflict resolution, teamwork, collaboration, creativity, time management, interpersonal, and flexibility skills.

Q: What does Youth Month and Youth Day (June 16) mean to you personally?

A: Youth Day is a day that should be celebrated by all races without criticism. It signifies the importance of youth educating each other about the freedom of education and speech. It also highlights the need for young people to help adults understand economic changes and how they can contribute to improving our country's economy.

Q: How do you feel your work has impacted the community within the Walter Sisulu Local Municipality?

A: My work has had a great impact because people receive the help they need promptly and efficiently.

Q: What advice would you give to other young people in the community who are seeking employment or development opportunities, especially during Youth Month?

A: I would advise them to visit the municipality regularly to check the notice board for job opportunities and provide their CVs for the database.

Q: Any other comments?

A: I would like to express my gratitude to Ubuntu Institute and Walter Sisulu Local Municipality for the amazing opportunity they have given me and for trusting me with their assets and confidential documents. I also thank the municipal officials for their treatment, making me feel welcomed and included. I hope they continue to provide the same opportunity and unmatched treatment to others. The love and warmth at Walter Sisulu Local Municipality are incomparable. Thank you.