SEKHUKHUNE – Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) Youth Council held its extended youth Council meeting in Fetakgomo Tubatse recently. The meeting was attended by district youth council members as well as delegates from all local municipality youth councils. The meeting was convened after a recent programme of the district youth council to consult all local youth councils, youth based structures and youth with disability on the Sekhukhune District Youth Development Strategy. The council successfully managed to embark on a visit primarily to contract inputs from young people on their future. Young people across the Sekhukhune land succeeded in voicing and biting on the development strategy that seeks to unlock challenges they are facing on a daily basis.
According to Jeff Mashoeu, SDM Youth Council Convener, the meeting earmarked the adoption of the National Youth Policy since 2009 and set a legal policy framework on youth development in order to pursue transformation agenda. “The policy assists all key governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to initiate, design, coordinate, evaluate and monitor successful programmes aiming at integrating the youth into key economic mainstream around the Sekhukhune District. As outlined in the local government youth development framework (2015-2020), youth represents a best hope to achieve developmental goals envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP) vision 2030.
Hence, Sekhukhune District Municipality Youth Council so it is absolutely necessary to pull down the national policy that enjoys attention to the mighty Sekhukhuneland,” he said. Mashoeu indicated that SDM Youth Council have identified five key areas that affect youth and need a comprehensive and integrated approach. “These areas of youth development have been extensively identified through observational research processes including Economic Participation and Youth Work, Education and Skills Development, Health and Wellbeing, Social Cohesion and Sports, Arts and Culture,” he said. Mashoeu said opportunities will be made available with the Agro-processing and Agricultural industry which has the potential to create massive jobs to address the country’s macroeconomic challenges.
“The council has agreed to invite the Department of Trade and Industry as a champion of this project for funding opportunities for youth,” emphasized Mashoeu. On downstream mineral beneficiation, Masheou said the council have reiterated a need to localize the important sector of the economy, on which they have agreed to have a mining academy that will avoid outsourcing of skills. “We also like to applaud the Sekhukhune District Municipality Executive Mayor, Cllr Keamotseng Stanley Ramaila on the learner contractor setup that seeks to create a similar model of skills transfer on the journey of youth empowerment. The council then appealed to other municipalities in the local level to relook into this model so youth can fully participate in the economy and employ many others. Equally, we also plea to all municipalities and other key departments to have 40% share in their procurement budget for youth businesses. A delegation that will be meeting with managements of those municipalities and departments around Sekhukhune is already appointed,” explained Mashoeu. Focusing on educational issues, Mashoeu said the SDM Youth Council have committed to engage with the Department of Higher Education on the launch of Sekhukhune TVET College branches in both Jane Furse and Marble Hall. “Equally, other institutions of higher learning should be approached to open their satellite branches closer to our youth in Sekhukhune district. Education is free, the council therefore encourages all young people to apply for the National Student Funding Aid Scheme (NSFAS) that funds all prospective tertiary students,” he said. Mashoeu hinted that SDM Youth Council has commended the youth council of Makhuduthamaga municipality that have already started their NSFA road shows on funding applications for youth in vulnerable villages and schools. “The council then encouraged all local municipalities and other youth based organizations to work with SDM Youth Council in boarding similar programmes by end of November 2020. Youth Unit of the SDM have identified members of the Inter-Departmental Youth Coordination Committee (IDYCC) as officials to assist any young person who would need assistance in this regard. No young person should be turned back in any municipality youth offices when in need of these operations or funding applications,” he said. Mashoeu said SDM Youth Development Strategy will be put in a municipality website for further engagement by the vast majority of young people in the communities.