The Bushbuckridge Local Municipality together with other stakeholders hosted a Geographic Information System day at the former Mapulaneng College of Education on the 26 February 2015. This event forms part of the Municipal Awareness Programme and is one of the three GIS events for this current financial year 2014/15.
Learners from high schools around Bushbuckridge gathered around to find information about the GIS and other career opportunities that are beneficial to them through geographical studies. Stakeholders who made their presentations are as follows: the District Director from the Department of Education, The National Geo- Spatial Information, the ESRI SA, the Rural Development department, STATSSA, University of Mpumalanga, the Funda Lula initiative and officials from the GIS Department in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality and Ehlanzeni District in order to give students clarity on career paths to follow.
The Director of Economic Development, Planning and Environment Mrs Sarah Mogakane, in her speech alluded that “our grade 10-12 learners need to know exactly what they are going to be when they finish grade 12, this will motivate them to produce better results as they will be fully aware that they are shaping their future just like how the other race group do in the western countries”. Furthermore she said Education is one of the tools that will break the chains of poverty in our Municipality. The partnership that we are giving birth today must be the start of the many engagement that the Department of Education will have with the Municipality.
GIS is accessible the Municipal head office and 11 municipal regional offices, hence the GIS department has launched a schools competition which concentrates on land use elements that help us to understand our space as we cannot manage what we do not know. This school competition is an annual event which will conscientise the pupils about the land use changes which will also indicate if our Municipality is developing and our people are migrating to other places.
Maps of villages surrounding each high school will be given to all principals together with the Legend indicating the colours to be used and the land use types (e.g. yellow for Residential). These maps will have village names, aerial photographs as the background and the property boundaries, where each property needs to be colored with the right colour or land use. The competition will be closed on the 30 April 2015. All maps must be submitted back to GIS Unit in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality headquarters and the acknowledgement slip will be granted. The announcement of the winners will be done on the 29th of May 2015 after all necessary verifications have been done said the Executive Mayor.
Prizes will be as follows:
- 1st school winner will receive a computer loaded with GIS program and a GPS device
- 2nd school winner will receive a computer loaded with GIS program
- 3rd school winner will receive a GPS device