The Western Cape Department of Infrastructure is calling on the youth to empower themselves with skills that can build the province’s economy and secure their own future.
In an effort to attract these young people who might be unemployed or still studying, the department hosted a Youth Empowerment Open Day at Ikhwezi Community Hall in Gugulethu last Thursday.
The department said it has set up empowerment programmes to assist young people who are eager to run their own businesses. For them to access such programmes, the youth need to register on the department’s database.
The Open Day provided the community of greater Gugulethu an opportunity to learn about the department’s programmes. Applications for their Trade Learnership in the Cape Metro opened on Thursday June 1 and closes on Friday June 30.
The day consisted of presentations on supply chain management consumer education for aspiring Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and the Masakh’iSizwe Bursary programme.
Emerging contractors were educated on the compliance requirements for tendering for government construction and maintenance opportunities. With applications for Masakh’iSizwe bursaries closing on Thursday August 31, those in attendance were taken through presentations that explained in detail the requirements for applicants. This programme is rolled out through three higher education institution partners of the department, the University of Stellenbosch, the University of Cape Town, and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
Provincial MEC for Infrastructure Tertius Simmers said the day was part of his department’s stimulus to create jobs for youth.
“We want to make sure that young people contribute to the economy of the province. We need youth to make sure that they build the future of the province. We also want them to improve the quality of their lives. They need to change the narrative about their area. These areas should not be known only about crimes. Young people should take part and access us. They are the key partner to the provincial government,” he told Vukani.
He said there is a shortage of skills in geometrics, mechanics, road, transport and other industries that young people can work towards.
Mr Simmers said he was doing the roadshows because he was passionate about young people. “Opportunities are there. Even with the Eskom crisis, there are opportunities there. How they change their lives is in their hands. We say as a government we are with them. Let us build the country together.”
On a cold day, the youth seemed to enjoy the day with many of them nodding their heads.
Presenting what her department does, Director of Professional Development at the Department of Infrastructure, Fezeka Rayi told the youth to engage her team in anything to do with infrastructure.
She urged them to educate themselves on various artisanal skills. “You might have Grade 12 or another grade not necessarily a qualification but you need to have skills. There are vast skills that people might have without education that will help you improve your skills at our technical, vocational education and training institutions. But the key is to have skills. You must be diligent, be on time and deliver to your promise. We are here to assist you to succeed,” she told the packed hall.
Ms Rayi also appealed to parents to encourage their children to educate themselves and support them. “Parents need to support their children in what they are capable of. We need each other. Because whenever we create a project, we must make sure that people are employed. There are a lot of opportunities in the government, especially in my department,” she said.
To register on the database or for more information, call 021 833 5361 or email WCSEB@westerncape.gov.za