Dankiso Mariri.

This year’s internship programme is aligned to the bank’s ReadytoWork initiative. Launched in 2015, ReadytoWork is a pan African initiative aimed at helping young people build the skills they need to make the critical transition from education into the world of work. It provides young people with access to a digital and face-to-face blended learning journey that helps develop their work, people, money and entrepreneurial skills, better equipping them to find a job or start their own business.

Absa has been a proud supporter of the DMA since 2004. Besides providing a safe platform for youngsters from disadvantaged communities to learn about the sport of cycling, the DMA also endeavours to foster strong educational support for its members.

The 2016 Absa Cape Epic will, therefore, not only provide the 14 interns with valuable hands-on work experience during the race, but will also empower these youngsters with the requisite training and support to enhance their employment or self-employment prospects.

Last year, 9 young DMA riders were afforded the opportunity to work at the Absa Cape Epic. Among them was Otty Makwatlo, who worked as a bike mechanic. He will be returning to the Absa Cape Epic as an intern this year.

Johannes Masetla.

“After my involvement in the Absa Cape Epic last year with the other DMA interns, many kids are now looking at us as examples of what they can achieve. I believe that being chosen and the experience that comes with that, will make me a better role model for them in the future. This is an opportunity that means a lot to me and I can’t wait to learn even more in 2016,” said Otty.

“We are well aware that the high level of youth unemployment is a significant challenge in our country and continent. It is extremely tough for young people to find and retain meaningful jobs without proper guidance, support and the relevant experience. Hopefully, our internship programme will, in some small way, enable some of the interns to realise their work-related ambitions,” said Matshepo Majola, General Manager Group Marketing, Barclays Africa Group Limited.

Profiles of some of the interns:

Eighteen year old JOHANNES MASETLA, has been a member of the DMA for six years. He is a natural on the bike and is one of three DMA riders to be selected for the South African team to compete at the second African Youth Games in Botswana in 2014. The DMA identified his technical skills and offered him the opportunity to become a mechanic. He has since completed his Cytech Technical Two qualification and helps fellow DMA mechanics to fix and service the academy’s bikes. This will be Johannes’ first trip to the Absa Cape Epic.

Otty Mokwatlo.

Another standout is 27 year old OTTY MOKWATLO. He joined the DMA eight years ago when DMA mentor and Pro-cyclist William Mokgopo told him about the project. He currently works as a motor mechanic at a towing service and he runs the bike rentals service at Northern Farm on the weekends. As a budding entrepreneur, he is also working on starting his own truck washing business. Otty and his siblings unfortunately lost their mom when he was 9 years old, which he describes as one of the biggest challenges he has had to overcome. Otty was an Absa intern at the 2015 Absa Cape Epic where he thoroughly enjoyed the experience of interacting with the riders and learning how to fix bikes in a highly pressured environment.

19-year old DANKISO MARIRI, works as an assistant at the Northern Farm restaurant – a job he landed simply by offering to help carry boxes and stock the fridges. Fellow DMA rider, Tsepo Nyirenda, noticed his hard work and enthusiasm and gave him a permanent position with the team. Dankiso has proved himself as a strong cyclist and was part of the DMA team that won the inaugural Junior Eliminator Series in 2014. He is a promising leader and his first goal is to follow in the steps of his heroes, Tsepo Nyirenda and David Higgs, and become a top chef. This will be Dankiso’s first trip to the Absa Cape Epic.

For more info on the ReadytoWork initiative visit: