Feeding and skilling the nation

Story and photos: Bafana Mahlangu

Story and photos: Bafana Mahlangu

UNIVERSITY of Johannesburg's School of Tourism and Hospitality officially launched the Centre for Culinary Excellence this week.

The brainchild of Billy Gallagher, it is a joint venture between the university and South African Chefs Association.

Opened in June, the centre has presented, trained and issued 73 certificates to successful candidates.

Of these, 26 were bursary beneficiaries.

Students came from the formal and informal sectors of the hospitality industry, ranging from township caterers, taverns, bed and breakfasts, catering companies to hotels and restaurants.

Stephen Billingham, pictured, president for the association, said the shortage of craft skills had been highlighted by both the industry and government as one of the country's major needs and priorities. He said the school would address this challenge.

"These are the drivers of every economy. Everyone needs to be fed, but our role is not only to feed but also to nourish, skill and educate," Billingham said.