The office of the Premier in the Mpumalanga has established a youth directorate to address challenges faced by young people.
The primary objective of the directorate is to provide a link between the youth and both the private and public sectors aimed at youth empowerment.
Young people are expected to obtain skills that will assist them to lead better lives amongst others.
About 43% of young people in Mpumalanga are unemployed. Young people mostly in rural areas are faced with a huge challenge of poverty.
However in an attempt to try assisting the youth, the provincial government has established a youth desk in the office of the Premier.
This office is expected to introduce programs that will change the situation for the better.
Youth directorate’s Desmond Moela says they are working with municipalities to identify young people who need help in communities.
“We are calling each and every young people to come on board, because we are working with all structures that involves the youth in the province. We are here to assist them; they are actually raising critical issues like unemployment. Some of them are issues of bursaries, free education is one of the fundamental issues, and there are those who cannot go to school because of funding. It is our responsibilities as the youth directorate to assist them, even those who got talent.”
Moela says youth month is not only for celebrations but also for making a difference that will last for a long period.
“It must be a continuous program, for every young person in the province, we are ready to fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment, and as long as we speak in one voice we will be able to fight against those issues. The youth month must not just be a celebration but we want to leave something tangible.”
Young people who are already benefiting from this programme say it could not have come at the right time. Skhumbuzo Mashele, a 26 year old who graduated with an LLB degree, says it was difficult for him to get a job.
However, Mashele says this office has helped him in getting an internship.
“I am one of the beneficiaries who have been fortunately enough that I’ve been taken to Rural Development for a contract of on year as a Land Verification Officer. It assisted me a lot because I have acquired knowledge and experience in terms of how does land claims operate. We were taken to some different farms where we were exposed to level of experience, how to interact with the communities who were previously taken their land.”
While Mashele is one of the lucky one already benefiting from the program, other young people are not even aware that such an office does exist.
One youth says, “I am not aware of such an office.”
“It is my first time to hear of that,” says another youth.
Another youth adds, “What do they do for young people, because we have many challenges and we not eve working.”
The youth has been urged to register on a database through the municipalities.