Following Her Father’s Footsteps: Mapule Mocwaledi’s Journey into Automotive Artisanship

Mapule Mocwaledi, a 30-year-old woman, is stepping into the automotive world, following the legacy of her late father.


Growing up, she spent her days working alongside her father in his automotive workshop, where she discovered her natural talent for working with her hands.

Now, she envisions her own company in the future, specializing in automotive-related services.

But before that, she aims to become a qualified artisan through training as a diesel mechanic at Isuzu in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.

Her journey is part of a partnership between the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and the Agricultural Sector Education Training Authority (AgriSETA), which aims to train 400 Expanded Public Works Programme participants as artisans.


Discovering the Passion

Mapule Mocwaledi’s early exposure to her father’s automotive workshop played a crucial role in shaping her career path.

Working alongside him, she realized her affinity for practical work and her ability to create, manufacture, and repair using her hands.

This hands-on experience ignited her passion for becoming an artisan, driving her ambition to establish her own automotive company in the future.

Training for Success

Mocwaledi’s dream of running her own company has led her to pursue formal training as a diesel mechanic at Isuzu in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.

The partnership between DPWI and AgriSETA has provided her with this opportunity.


Her training involves mastering skills such as inspecting, repairing, and overhauling diesel engines, preparing her for a successful career in the automotive industry.

Through this training, Mocwaledi aims to become a qualified artisan, a crucial step towards achieving her entrepreneurial aspirations.

Edwin Mashalane: Another Aspiring Artisan

Mapule Mocwaledi is not alone in her pursuit of a career in artisanship.

Edwin Mashalane is another individual benefiting from the DPWI and AgriSETA partnership.

Joining the two-year program in January 2022, Mashalane is also training as a diesel mechanic at Toyota in Middelburg.


Like Mocwaledi, he sees this opportunity as a stepping stone to gaining valuable work experience, ultimately enabling him to find employment and establish his own business.

Mashalane’s dream revolves around owning a workshop where he can service and repair cars while also providing employment opportunities for young people.

The Decade of the Artisan: Promoting Youth in Artisanship

The period between 2014 and 2024 has been declared the “Decade of the Artisan” by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

The campaign seeks to encourage South Africa’s youth to consider artisanship as a rewarding career choice.

The aim is to address the country’s shortage of qualified artisans, support various industries, and foster economic growth.


Through partnerships like the one between DPWI and AgriSETA, the government is investing in training and developing skilled artisans to drive progress in the automotive and other sectors.


Mapule Mocwaledi’s journey as an aspiring artisan, following in her late father’s footsteps, serves as an inspiring example of the opportunities available through artisanship.

With the support of programs like the partnership between DPWI and AgriSETA, individuals like Mocwaledi and Edwin Mashalane are receiving the necessary training and experience to thrive in their chosen fields.

As South Africa continues to prioritize the development of skilled artisans, the “Decade of the Artisan” campaign is instrumental in building a talented workforce, fostering innovation, and contributing to the country’s economic growth.

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