Celebrating Youth Month: Engen’s Maphuthego Etu Maditsi says “Knowledge is Power”
Maphuthego Etu Maditsi is on the Engen Graduate Programme

Polokwane’s Maphuthego Etu Maditsi believes education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world, which is why she will never stop learning and challenging herself.

“I believe that sharing my success story can inspire other young women to prioritise education,” says the graduate trainee based at Engen’s head office in Cape Town. “Rather than relying on others for support, which often leads to dependency and potential abuse, it’s crucial for young women to understand the importance of education and being independent.”

Maphuthego, an alumnus of Derek Kobe Senior Secondary School in Lebowakgomo in Polokwane, is one of 36 trainees enrolled in Engen’s two-year Graduate Development Programme.

Living by the saying “whatever will be will be,” Maditsi is motivated to focus on positive thoughts and kind words, and the things that are important.

Her advice for young South Africans this Youth Month is to put God first in everything they do.

“Keep on keeping on. Be disciplined and focus on what is important. Do not neglect your health and spend more time with your loved ones,” she sagely offers.

Maphuthego graduated from North West University with a BSc degree in computer science and electronics, and an Honours degree in computer science.

She enrolled on the Engen Graduate Development Programme in February 2023 and says she is looking forward to the rest of her learning journey with Engen.

“The experience thus far has provided me with knowledge of how the business works and how to navigate life in a corporate world.”

She says the training has added great value to her skills development and personal growth.

“Getting involved in business projects has made me feel like I belong and that my contribution is valued. Along with a supportive team, my experience has been fulfilling,” reflects Maphuthego.

The 24-year-old is proud of where she is today.

“I was very excited to get into this graduate programme and obtain my university degrees. Another achievement was publishing my research article for the 9th International Conference of Networks and Communications (NC 2021), and starting my journey with God as a Christian is one of my greatest achievements.”

What she loves most about working for Engen is the company's values and culture, which she says resonate with her.

“Engen has a healthy working environment, and the people and management contribute to one’s growth. And of course, it is the biggest and Number One petroleum company in South Africa!”

For Maphuthego, Youth Month is about celebrating the bravery and resilience of youth who played a pivotal role in the struggle against apartheid.

Continuing to attract and grow talented young people like Maphuthego Etu Maditsi demonstrates Engen’s ongoing commitment to developing South Africa’s future experts and leaders.

In addition, as a company that is passionate about progress and seeking to provide opportunities for talented young adults to explore new horizons, Engen’s Graduate Development Programme offers recent graduates valuable work experience across a broad range of business functions.

Explain Engen Skills Development Manager, Mmalenyalo Galane: “The aim is to ensure that all participants emerge as highly employable individuals, bolstered by enhanced confidence, workplace experience, and a comprehensive understanding of working in teams.

“It is Engen’s ultimate reward to help set talented people up to pursue stimulating careers that won’t only benefit them personally, but also their families and the broader economy of South Africa.

“Engen is firmly committed to building tomorrow’s leaders, and if we want to ensure that the youth of tomorrow are prepared for a rapidly changing world, we need to ensure that they have the right mix of skills for them to reach their full potential,” she adds.

In 2023, Engen invested R41 million in Learnerships and Bursaries, along with a further R34 million in other social causes, such as its flagship CSI programme, the Engen Maths and Science Schools.

The Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) are central to Engen’s efforts to contribute to the growth and transformation of South Africa.

Engen's commitment to nurturing talent and fostering educational excellence is reflected in the 2023 EMSS matric class results, which reported a record 97% overall pass rate, and an impressive 77% bachelor pass rate.

This exceptional achievement again underscored the transformative impact of the EMSS programme in empowering underprivileged Grade 10-12 learners at its 10 EMSS centres spread across South Africa.

Since its inception in 1987, the EMSS programme has been the cornerstone of Engen's commitment to societal transformation, today offering over 1,500 learners annually vital supplementary tuition.

Olwethu Mdabula, Engen's CSI Manager, says that the 2023 EMSS matric results affirm the pivotal role that the programme plays in bridging educational disparities and equipping talented learners from disadvantaged backgrounds with the necessary tools for success.

Olwethu explains: “EMSS works tirelessly to help transform young underprivileged people’s lives, with a focus on creating a diverse and vibrant workforce.”

As a company, Engen advocates 9 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 4 - Quality Education, underscoring its long-held endeavour to foster inclusive and equitable educational opportunities for all.

Adds Mdabula: “Engen recognises that investing in quality education is vital for driving positive change and fostering a diverse and skilled workforce. By championing educational excellence through initiatives like the Engen Graduate Programme and EMSS, Engen is not only shaping individual destinies but also contributing to the broader socioeconomic advancement of South Africa.

“Our ultimate reward is to help set talented people up to pursue stimulating careers that won’t only benefit them personally, but also their families and the broader economy of South Africa.”