Nokulunga Mkize | 10 March 2023
Durban — KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza said she was concerned about the lack of youth employment and revealed that the department plans to prioritise this issue.
Speaking at the Esicabazini Youth Development Academy during a graduation ceremony on Wednesday, she said youth employment, capacity building and uniting young people to talk about life challenges was going to make a significant change in their lives.
She called for young people to make the most of every opportunity that they get to improve themselves.
“We provide different skills to these young people. We pride ourselves that they are better equipped to play an active role in building the economy of this province,” said Khoza.
She said the Department of Social Development remained the first point of contact that offered assistance to the youth through the rolling out of innovative skills development programmes.
“Our academies give youth access to the worldwide web so they can get access to knowledge to better their lives.
“We have these young people coming from different backgrounds, including child-headed households; diversion programmes; rehabilitation centres; youth with disabilities; youth recruited through Operation Sukuma Sakhe programmes; and in general, vulnerable youth,” said Khoza.
She said about 109 graduates, women and men, had been equipped with different skills, including entrepreneurship, plumbing, electrical, community house construction and computers; some have learnt to become assistant chefs. Plus, they all come out with Code 4 driver’s licences.
She added that the department had rolled out training programmes to these graduates to the tune of R5 million, which included training, accommodation, meals, uniforms and the purchase of start-up kits.
Board Member of the National Youth Development Agency, Thulisa Ndlela, said they were happy these young people had been “rescued and given skills to cushion them from poverty”.
Chairperson of Committees, Hlengiwe Mavimbela, said they were pleased that the department had this programme for youth.
‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.