The young people who run the Siyazakha Development Project have put out a call for help to anyone who can help keep their organisation afloat, and thereby, keep youngsters off the streets and away from crime and drugs.
The Langa-based youth project focuses on skills development for young people, offering sports training in soccer, boxing and rugby as well as after-school programmes.
The leader of the group, Mkhululi Nqokothwane, who has appealed to the local councillors and the government to intervene, said in 2014 they were tasked with cleaning the streets, but since then they have received no further assistance.
Sharing his frustration with Vukani, he explained how drugs have destroyed young people’s hopes and futures in Langa. He said most young people ended up on the streets because they have nothing to do.
“We are in a bad predicament in this area of Langa. We have recently seen gangs emerging from nowhere. If we do not get support from the government or any other good Samaritan, that will mean the closing of the project. Closing of the project means children will resort to all the bad things. That is why we appeal for help,” he said.
“We assist children from the age of 12 years, with the hope of showing them the way. We normally have about 70 children in our after-care programmes. Imagine those young lives could be lost to crime or drugs,” he said.
He is now appealing for any help that will enable the project to continue helping young people and that all they need is to be given a chance.
Ward councillor Nomtha Dilima advised the group to register their organisation and to partner with others who are working with young people. She said projects like Siyazakha are crucial and cannot be left floundering.
“We need our children to be active all the time. We need to see them doing something positive for their lives.
“Such organisations are playing a crucial role in our communities. But they need to officially register with Social Development and make submissions there. We really need them. For as long as they uplift young people, that is impressive,” she said.
She said while she has met with the youngsters at Siyazakha, she could not make them any promises.
For any assistance, Mr Nqokothwane can be contacted on 062 627 8943.