Empowering our young people
GROCOTTS / 03 MAY 2019 - 16.00 / STAFF REPORTER
Makana Municipality is committed to addressing the various service delivery challenges it faces. One way of doing this is empowering young people by capacitating them with essential skills.
By encouraging them to get up and do things for themselves, we hope to instil in our young people the idea that poverty can be defeated. Young people have vast experiences, knowledge, competencies and expertise in development. As a municipality, we must utilise them to achieve our service delivery mandates.
The municipality is happy to announce that, working with the provincial government, it has been able to employ skilled young people to assist the municipality in critical areas. This we have done through learnerships funded by the Premier’s Office and the Department of Labour.
First, supporting the municipality in its efforts to address water supply challenges, the Premier’s Office has helped secure the services of three young engineers who specialise in water and sanitation related services. This initiative came about following a request from the Mayor’s Office through our Youth Office.
We intended to secure the services of five unemployed graduates with skills in water and sanitation related services; however, from our database, we have only been able to acquire three. Two are civil engineers – one female and one male. The third, a young man, is a mechanical engineer. They are all based at the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works, working under the mentorship of a Chief Engineer from the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA), and will be employed for a period of two years.
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has initiated a second programme, a learnership, intended to get former UIF contributors back into the job market. DWS requested specific support from the Department of Labour, which outsourced the project to the Mhlathuze Water Board. The Water Board in turn appointed Skills Development Provider, Earth Child Consulting, to facilitate a water and sanitation-related learnership programme in Makana for 80 young people. Of these, 53 are already in place.
This programme, based in two provinces – Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal – started on 29 April 2019 and will run until 30 March 2020. It is funded through the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and its beneficiaries are former UIF contributors who are currently unemployed. The intention is to re-skill them so they can get back into the job market. Seventy percent were taken from the Department of Labour’s database and 30% were taken from our local Youth Office database.
In the first two weeks, they will be engaged in community profiling on Water and Sanitation. From week three, they will be in class for three months. A theoretical curriculum will lead to practical exercises.
There are two more projects in the pipeline.
One is a learnership on administration for unemployed graduates. The other is an internship programme for TVET college graduates.
The programmes are developed accordance with our strategic objective that seeks to create a conducive environment for vulnerable groups to participate and benefit in socio-economic development, as well as to create a conducive climate for economic growth and development. They are designed to help people develop into independent entrepreneurs who can ensure their own sustainability, as well as contribute to the economy. By creating jobs, they will have a direct impact on poverty alleviation. The programmes demonstrate the thinking behind youth development.
According to the National Development Plan, by 2030, South Africa’s rural communities must have better opportunities to participate fully in the economic, social and political life of the country. Hence the empowerment of young people becomes important in Makana Municipality.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) single out youth as a key target group. Target 6 of the MDG is to develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth.
In addition, the 2007 World Development Report published by the World Bank focuses on youth.
This is a sign of a growing awareness among governments, donor agencies and civil society organisations about the actual and potential roles of youth in the development process.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER