SA youth building a better future

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

By More Matshediso

Pretoria - Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Deputy Minister Andries Nel says he is inspired by the youth of South Africa who are building a better future each day.

Speaking on Tuesday at the conclusion of a month-long programme of visiting a number of Community Work Programme sites countrywide, the Deputy Minister said the youth of today are following in the footsteps of the youth of 1976, who tackled the challenges of their time head on.

“Through the CWP, the youth of our country are building a better future each day, not only for themselves, but also for their communities.

“Today’s challenges are unemployment, inequality and poverty. The youth of our country are tackling these through the CWP. Your work gives us confidence to say that, indeed, ‘Youth are Moving South Africa Forward’,” he said at the CWP site at Mogalakwena, in Limpopo.

The CWP was established by government to help deal with the challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality, and it gives special attention to women and young people.

It is part of many government programmes that help create work opportunities, skills and community development. Other similar programmes include the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC), Working for Water and Working on Fire.

The Deputy Minister said CWP supplements government’s social grants programme. He said it puts R1.4 billion into the pockets and onto the tables of more than 200 000 participants.

“Over the five years of this administration, the CWP will put R5.6 billion into the pockets of the poorest of the poor.”

He said this financial year, the department will establish sites in 30 more municipalities in the country, which will increase the number of existing CWP sites to 220.

“We want to create one million work opportunities by 2019. In the past financial year, 43 634 CWP participants benefitted from training opportunities offered by the programme. CWP has helped skill participants to start their own sustainable income-generating initiatives.

“In Limpopo, CWP is reaching about 22 086 participants across 20 sites. It is good to see that the CWP programmes are reaching 1 027 youth in 21 villages. I’m also glad that of these recipients, the majority are women, with 793 benefitting from these programmes. I am also happy to note that there are 13 disabled participants,” he said.

Social Cohesion Month

The Deputy Minister reminded the community that the month of July is Social Cohesion Month, in which South Africans honour the ideals of the Freedom Charter such as non-racialism, non-sexism, justice and equality. This year is the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter.

“Let us join hands as we continue to work toward building a South Africa that promotes human rights.

“Earlier this year we launched the National Youth Policy (NYP). This month [June] President Jacob Zuma established the Presidential Working Group on Youth. The working group consists of 17 deputy ministers, the National Youth Development Agency, business and youth organisations.

“Our task is to ensure that the NPY is implemented and that youth development becomes the focus of all South Africans, be they in government, the private sector or civil society,” he said. -

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