NW Youth Fund at advanced stage

Friday, February 24, 2017

Pretoria - Plans are at an advanced stage to bring into operation the North West new Youth Fund, says Premier Supra Mahumapelo on Friday.

“Plans are at an advanced stage to operationalize this entity,” said the Premier as he delivered his State of the Province Address (SOPA). 

Previously the provincial legislature passed into law the North West Youth Entrepreneurship Services Fund Act, No 6 of 2016, which repealed the NW Youth Development Trust Act, 1997 and establishes a new Youth Fund to serve as one stop shop for youth matters in the province.

The fund has a special focus on entrepreneurship, skills development and job opportunities.

“[The] Youth Entrepreneurship Services (YES) would be starting the process of establishing Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD) YES structures (in all 753 VTSD areas), as part of local economic development initiatives led in partnership with municipality and led specifically by Offices of Mayors in all municipalities,” said the Premier.

The Premier added that the province continues to support the youth in the province, with 40 women and youth linked to cooperatives and non-profit organisation having being trained in baking and confectionary services in partnerships with food and beverages SETA.

Among others, 27 youth enterprises received training in business management, while 161 schools are offering agriculture science, while six of them include Agricultural Technology and 10 Agricultural Management Practice.

The Premier added that from 1 March 2017, 200 youth will begin training in security related fields. 

“Thus, the prioritisation of the awarding of bursaries will be driven by Agriculture, Culture and Tourism (ACT) as the primary drivers of the economy in the North West including Education, Health, Water and Sanitation, Local Government and Human Settlements, Roads and Financial Management, Auditing and Information Communication and Technology.”

Training and Higher Education

When coming to higher education, Premier Mahumapelo said government will spend around R48 million in the 2017 academic year on funding 493 students.

In addition, in partnership with Denel Technical Academy a new satellite campus will be launched in Mahikeng in June 2017 with an initial intake of 40 students with at least 50% pass in mathematics and science in matric.

The total cost of student funding for tuition in the first year will be R6 million or R150 000 per student for [a] full government bursary.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Premier will be working together with Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ) as the implementing agent will commence with the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (merSETA) partnership to train 186 artisans in various agricultural trades to the tune of R26 million.

Government will also be working with Eskom to train 31 technicians sourced from various villages, townships and small dorpies. In addition, 60 students, who are residents of the province and are placed in various universities across the country, will be awarded bursaries for the 2017 academic year.

Rolling out WIFI

The North West Development Corporation together with the Office of the Premier have finalised the business case for the implementation of phase 1 of rolling out WIFI.

This will facilitate access to information and modernisation to villages.

WIFI will be rolled out in the following villages: Mofufutso, Gopane, Mocoseng and Mmanonyane.

“The implementation of phase 1 will start in mid-March. A request for Proposal will be released in the next two weeks inviting prospective investors with necessary capacity to roll out VTSD WIFI Hotspots across all the 657 villages in the province,” said the Premier. – SAnews.gov.za