January 2018 – Jesse's Letter

Letter from Jessie
Dear Team,
2018 will be a historic year for eDeaf. We welcome each and every team member back and we wish you a beautiful and prosperous new year. We have a lot of things to be thankful for – business is doing well and each one of us has our own personal goals and aspirations and within the eDeaf team, you will be given that opportunity to grow, to be yourself, and to add value to everyone around you.
Looking at where we are going this year, the vision and the theme for 2018 will be to “work smarter”. We all have to step up, we have all shown that we are ready and we are willing to work hard. That has been evident for the past couple of years. For now, for 2018, we’ve got to step up and work smarter, discuss it within your teams, in your offices and give us ideas of how to work smarter. We’ve got to motivate each other throughout the year, be focused on what we do, how we can work smarter and what it all entails.
In 2018, we will be training over 750 learners in our 4 training centres on both AET as well as IT levels 3 and 4.  This is a huge challenge so we’ve got to work smarter in the way that we produce the results, the way that we communicate to our learners and the way that we facilitate, to get the results to be up, as they should be. We want a 95% pass rate – that is what we are aiming for.
To everyone who supports the facilitation team, those who open up in the mornings, the cleaning team, our administrative staff, our financial team, we all need to work smarter to produce the results that we want with regards to the empowerment phase of eDeaf. Everyone is working smarter to ensure that the results are what we want. A 95% pass rate on the AET as well as the IT side. This can be done.
The Job Fund will also be kicking in in 2018, and will be starting on the 2nd of April. What this will mean for us is that we will be receiving funding from National Treasury in the form of a grant that will be supported by us as well. So, for every R10 that we receive, we will put R10 in. This is not a gift to eDeaf, we have got to match whatever is in our plan. This plan will be explained to each office as I travel throughout South Africa to make sure that everybody is on the same page.  The broad outline, for now, is that you will see 8 new Sign Language interpreters joining the eDeaf team in April 2018. We are hoping for 6 to join us in Braamfontein and 2 in the Durban office. The Braamfontein 6 will then also split up between Centurion and Braamfontein to provide more interpreter services.
We have a 3-year plan that will be flowing over into a 5-year plan whereby we will have to place 720 people into jobs and this is a huge challenge. Per quarter (every 3 months) we will have to place between 40 and 60 people. It is a huge challenge for everybody involved and we will keep you informed as we move along.  In support of getting the target of 720 jobs over the next 3 years, we will be employing 12 more interpreters in 2019. This will allow us to have a pool of 20 interpreters supporting the current interpreters that we have within our team.
We will be marketing very effectively, so you will see our Facebook page, as well as our other social media pages, being very positive on the advantages of employing a Deaf person and we will be putting in a lot of new messages to the market. That I will also elaborate on later. We will be buying new equipment in the form of filming gear for Troy as well as new laptops for the editing, sound mixing and music. Added to that, we will be buying 2 new cars to support the interpreters to move around. Our PROs (Simphiwe and Atiyah) will be moving a lot, attending a lot more conferences and skills summit events to put our name out in the market.  We want businesses to be aware of eDeaf and to come to us and say that they want Deaf staff members. It will be a fantastic drive throughout 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Now we move to what is news on the Braamfontein side. Braamfontein has welcomed 3 new staff members, Zintle, Joseph and Faheem. We welcome you, and wish you a beautiful future within eDeaf. Each of these staff members has been allocated their own functions and tasks that they will do. Faheem has already attended MIE training that will assist us to internally do all credit checks and fingerprinting. All of these processes going forward will be done internally.  The same machine has been bought for Durban, so the same will be done in Durban, Johannesburg and Centurion, and Faheem will train the Durban team on how to manage the MIE machine. Cape Town will be next and will be informed accordingly.  The IT lab has been established in Braamfontein –  Andre will take control of the IT lab where all IT learners on level 4 will be doing their workplace experience. We wish Andre and the team supporting him all of the very best and we look forward to positive results. We will inform you more about that as we move forward in the year.  
The Centurion office consists of Eunice, Nhlanhla, Monwabisi and the Checkers team, and we wish them all of the best for the new year.  The Checkers team started January 2018 not being in the office for almost 3 weeks. They are travelling all over doing recruiting, from Nelspruit to Kroonstad, Welkom, Umtata and PE. They have been doing a fantastic job and will be starting with a new intake of 125 learners in February 2018.  We wish them very well for the year ahead in that regard.
With the Durban team, the building is moving – you’ve seen the pictures. We hope that by the end of March, the 2 training rooms on the bottom floor as well as the training room on the top – and our funky new coffee shop come enterprise development room will be ready by the end of March. Our flat will also be receiving an upgrade in that we will be putting in 2 new bathrooms to accommodate the learners and people that will be staying at the Durban flat. The Durban team are doing well, they will be taking on 100 new AET learners in 2 classes and Promise will be doing the training on that side to support Cheryl. On the IT side will be Shubnum, and we will find an intern who will learn from Shubnum and then next year, will be able to take over the NQF level 4 and 3 training.
The Cape Town team is doing very well. The classes are full and we will be looking at growth within the Cape Town region – new AET and IT intakes will only take place in the month of August, so they are completing the training from the past year and we wish them well for that.    
Jesse Kotze

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