Partnership to upskill unemployed youth

Social Development MEC Albert Fritz

A three-way partnership between a non-governmental organisation and entities of government is set to benefit unemployed youth in Crossroads near Nyanga.

The MEC of Social Development, Albert Fritz, launched the province’s 12th youth café in partnership with the City of Cape Town and Ikamva Labantwana Bethu on Saturday April 13.

The City of Cape Town provided the facility while Ikamva Labantwana Bethu will support nearby youth with after school care, life skills and tutoring in maths and literacy.

The youth café will also train young people as baristas and in computer skills.

The youth are from various parts of Nyanga such as Philippi, Lower Cross Roads and others.

Launching the café, Mr Fritz said the youth will be trained on how to sustain themselves and improve their lives.

Mr Fritz said he was excited that the City of Cape Town, Ikamva Labantwana Bethu and his department came together to launch such a vital place for young people.

He said his department started in 2013 to envision a place where young people could have a voice.

He said he was tired of seeing seniors speaking for young people.

On Saturday he urged young people from Crossroads to work with other youth cafés around the province.

“Let us make opportunities for young people. That is the point of the youth café. We must get them employed. Let’s go and change the world,” he said.

He said the duty of the government should also be about creating better platforms for the youth.

Siviwe Dlukwana, director and founder of Ikamva Labantwana Bethu, said he was delighted to partner with the government in launching the café.

He said he started the NGO after his brother was stabbed to death. He saw a need to establish something where young people could come together to do something.

“I started it in 2012 after realising that young people especially my friends were dying similar to my big brother. I started Ikamva to divert young people from crime. I must say that it has helped a lot of people. The support that different people gave me was excellent. I am happy that the day I depart from this world, there will be something to look up to,” he said.

Board member and resident Nosipho Waqu said she was proud to be part of an organisation that takes children off the streets.

She told young people that gathered there that the future was entirely depended on them now.

She said the café was a good investment in young people. “If we do not invest in young people, they will be lost. That is why Siviwe felt a need to invest in them by starting this good initiative. This will be fruitful for generations to come,” she said.

The initiative was applauded by many of those who attended the launch. Many felt it would curb the rife crime and unemployment in the area of Crossroads and surrounds. Youth were urged to be the change in the area.

Sonwabile Mbinga pleaded with other young people to be the change they want to see in the area and others. He said they should be at the forefront of change and not let fear bring them down.

Ikamva Labantwana Bethu can be contacted on 021 838 1065.