Over 4 700 young people to receive development skills

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development will embark on a programme that will see more than 4 700 young people receive development skills as part of job creation and poverty eradication.

Tabling the department's budget for the 2009/10 financial year on Monday, Gauteng MEC for Health and Social Development, Qedani Mahlangu said the programme aims to train young people in artisan skills including electrical, plumbing, life skills, computer training, business skills and carpentry.

She said this will be done in partnership with state owned enterprises such as Telkom, Eskom and Transnet.

Other interventions will include the promotion of sustainable development, whereby each of the department's 26 development centres will run three income generating programmes.

"Four hundred young people will receive training on action research, communication skills, project management in this financial year and 1 800 over Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

"Four thousand volunteer community care givers will be trained in Home Care Based Centre as part the social sector Expanded Public Works Programme, an overwhelming number of these volunteers are young women," Ms Mahlangu said.

Among people to benefit include 700 youth, mainly women, who completed social auxiliary worker learnerships, will be employed by the department and the Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) sector.

Seventy nine youth mainly women participate in social worker bursary programmes will also be employed in support of retention strategy for social work and other related scarce skills.

Furthermore, 200 NPOs involved in school uniform production will be trained and registered as cooperatives and empowered in school uniform (textile) production and the rendering of cleaning, security, laundry, catering and gardening services.

"We will establish these mainly for youth and women owned, managed and controlled co-operatives at Alexandra, Mabopane, Mogale City, Katlehong, Vosloorus, Meadowlands and Zola, Refilwe," said Ms Mahlangu.

As part of growing an inclusive economy, 90 percent of all contracts will be awarded to previously disadvantaged individuals and Small Micro Medium Enterprises.

"We will use affirmative procurement measures to empower those that have been historically disadvantaged, this is an important tool in promoting small enterprises that play a role in the creation of decent jobs," Ms Mahlangu said.

The department has further committed to fund 187 existing and 30 new home care based centre sites, which provide drop-in services such as meals, assistance with homework and laundry services to orphaned and vulnerable children.

The programme will reach 20 000 families including 62 000 children, 4 700 older persons and 3 820 child-headed households.

Ms Mahlangu warned that the department will review the terms of funding to old age homes that continue to refuse access to people on the basis of race.

In addition, 147 registered and funded community based services (service centres and luncheon clubs) will be strengthened to provide services to older persons.

"We will thus be able to ensure the transformational agenda in the movement of older persons on the waiting list at registered and funded residential facilities into residence at the facilities.

"Provision will also be made for safe beds for 250 abused and neglected older persons," she said.

During the current financial year, the department plans to achieve the funding of 568 existing and 200 new Early Childhood Development (ECD) sites, to ensure that an additional 10 000 children are included in the ECD programme as well as the training of 680 ECD practitioners.

The department has further increased the subsidies to ECD facilities to R12 per child per day.