Youth project aims to tackle unemployment

Aphiwe Mzomba getting assistance from librarian Portia Nyokana while Jones Mkhentana and Thembisa Mlamla, senior librarian, at Weltevreden library are looking on.

Youth unemployment remains a major problem in South Africa, with young people between the ages of 18 to 35, topping the list.

But that could soon change in Samora Machel, Philippi, thanks to the City of Cape Town’s Youth Skills development project.

The initiative was launched on Wednesday November 15, at Weltevreden Valley Community Hall, by the mayoral committee member for area south, Eddie Andrews.

The R1 million project is designed to assist young people with training in electrical work, entrepreneurship, and bricklaying, among others.

It also provides young people with work-related practicals to enhance their job prospects or help them to start their own businesses.

Mr Andrews said the City had various programmes aimed at improving young people’s ability to get work, ownership of enterprises and assets.

He said the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department would also host a career exhibition to expose youth to learning and career opportunities within the City.

Mr Andrews said young people would be given an opportunity to undergo aptitude tests at an exhibition to help them in their career choices. He said with limited knowledge and training, many young people sat at home. He urged young people to have a sense of purpose and said the City wanted to inspire them to dream bigger than their circumstances.

“Youth are important to us. We have put that aside only for the youth of Samora Machel. We are excited about that.

“We are also excited that soon we will launch a Facebook page for youths of the area so that they can learn where to do things.

“The youths should grab these opportunities,” he said.

Mr Andrews added that there had been a disconnect between young people and services, but called on them to be active in their community. They have a voice and they need to use that voice to make a meaningful noise.

“They need to know that every decision they take impacts on their tomorrow. They also need to enhance their knowledge. They need to ask questions and keep fighting for their better tomorrow,” he said.

Social Development director in the area, Daniel Sassa, confirmed that they were negotiating with the Desmond Tutu Foundation to train 50 young people.

He said Weltevrede library had computers for young people to register with the City’s database of unemployed youth, and search for information.

Senior librarian Thembisa Mlamla said the library was involved in developing the next generation of young people and welcomed the news of the initiative aimed at helping the youth of Samora.

“We are looking forward to working with them. This is their library and they have all the right to be here,” she said.