Student Name: Andiswa Jafta
Program: Bonani Work-Readiness Program
Branch: Cape Town
The story of my career begins in 2005 when I completed a National Diploma in Financial Information Systems at Walter Sisulu University (former Border Technikon) majoring in Financial Accounting and FIS. Honestly, the only accounting professional body I knew at that time was SAICA. Not having any intentions of becoming a Chartered Accountant, my goal was to finish the diploma then work in any finance environment. However I could not find work due to outstanding fees I could not afford to pay.
As a result the university withheld my diploma. The consequence of this was disastrous for me. I was unable to find a job in my chosen field of accounting and finance, since I had no proof of the fact that I had attained a National Diploma. I was frustrated and unemployed.
I then decided to relocate to Cape Town in January 2007.
Sometime in May 2007, I saw an advertisement in the newspaper about the Guarantee Trust’s Work-Readiness Program funded by Fasset. Things started to look bright. I started the programme with a very positive mental attitude as I considered it an opportunity to make a fresh new start in life. I was excited at the idea of learning work-related skills that would help me find employment in my area of interest.
Through my participation in the programme I acquired the ability to adapt and make the most out of each and every situation. I learnt that although I cannot control all the circumstances of life I can control how I respond to them, and I mastered this skill thoroughly. I also learnt about SAIPA, which interested me the most.
Upon completion of the 5-month Work-Readiness Program, I was fortunate enough to be placed at Downing and Partners, an accounting firm based in Bellville in the Western Cape and I must say this is the best place I have ever worked. It is through this company that I am actually becoming the person I want to be. The partners are extremely understanding and supportive and are willing to be of assistance to me in whatever way they can. They went as far as to provide me with an interest-free loan, which allowed me to release my diploma in WSU. I am currently upgrading my diploma to a BTech in Taxation at CPUT, which they are also paying for. I am so grateful to Downing & Partners for everything they are doing for me.
One of the most important virtues from the Work-Readiness Programme which I still value to this day is “patience”. I do not believe that I would be still doing my articles without applying the morality of this virtue.
My advice to anyone who is on the Work-Readiness Programme and considering becoming a qualified accountant one day is: “Take every opportunity that comes your way very seriously, and never underestimate small beginnings. Use your gifts and talents to the best of your ability and never be afraid to apply yourself fully. And remember, life is too short to make a mess of your opportunities, you might actually live to regret the chances you haven’t taken, but you can never regret the chances you took.”
Thank you to the team from Fasset and Guarantee Trust.