On Wednesday, 20 August 2014, Executive Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie congratulated six young men who had completed a 3 month course at Chrysalis Academy in Cape Town. The course was arranged by the Department of Community and Safety, together with Overstrand Municipality and the SAPS. The Director: Protection Services, Mr Neville Michaels, and Mr Zingani Tshefu of Law Enforcement, were the driving force behind the initiative in our area.

The training introduced the group to different courses such as Youth Leadership Development and Skills Training Program and Outdoor Adventure Leadership Development Programs.

These dynamic young men came back ready to showcase the skills they obtained to the people of the Overstrand. They will rotate in the Directorate of Protection Services of the Municipality for the duration of 9 months.

Talking to the group, Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie expressed her appreciation to these young people who are motivated for a challenge and change in the area. These young men were identified to take part in this life changing training to plough their newfound knowledge back in their respective areas.

As the first group of young men in the area to have had this opportunity, they need to be the ambassadors in the area and teach other young people about the disadvantages of using drugs and being involved in wrong doings. She asked their assistance in combatting vandalism of municipal properties in the Overstrand. This is illegal and properties belong not only to the Municipality, but to the communities at large. This is the reason why everyone should respect and care for property.

The group had an opportunity to tell of their experiences. They all acknowledged it had not been an easy task. They were ready to take up the challenge. Their program started with orientation and they had to be up early in the mornings to do physical training, one of them said this was quite a challenge! They acknowledged the fact that when involved in drugs one is unaware of your capabilities. Only once you step outside of that drug scene can one recognise and appreciate your abilities.

They thanked the Overstrand Municipality for the opportunity to do the life-changing course which has given them a new outlook on life. Municipal Manager: Mr Coenie Groenewald gave a word of hope to the group that they must go back to their respective communities to show their experiences and spread the message of hope.

Mr Michaels reiterated that young people should be vigilant and assist the community and authorities to fight the drug pandemic amongst the youth and in closing he encouraged and assured the group of his support in their new endeavours.