The importance of involving the youth in planning and decision making regarding matters that may influence their future, was the primary input given by young people from across the Capricorn district at a Youth Panel Discussion Seminar hosted by Capricorn District Municipality (CDM) at the new Peter Mokaba stadium last Thursday (29 June 2017) evening.
Feedback regarding CDM’s programmes and activities that involved the youth was also provided. The input from the floor as well as the panel discussion was streamed live on radio. The panellists were community activist Matlatse Kobe, Board Chairperson of the National Youth Council, Sifiso Mtsweni, CDM Member of the Mayoral Committee, Jara Masubelele and Youth Director in the Office of the Premier, Donald Selamolela. The discussion was facilitated by Thabiso Kotane from Capricorn FM.
Masubelele represented CDM Executive Mayor John Mpe and said that the occasion closes the municipality’s youth month programme in which youths in every corner of the district were engaged in a quest to celebrate youth month and also promote youth engagement and involvement in the planning of programmes. “In the past few weeks, we have been to all local municipalities on a consultative imbizo drive which sought to listen to the voices of young people as they express their concerns regarding youth development and its facets of challenges. They spoke, we listened, and we heard,” Masubelele explained.
According to Masubelele, the aim of the event was to consolidate all the voices and report back, give feedback and express the municipality’s commitment to implement proposals that young people brought to its attention.
Masubelele said that Mpe had taken it upon himself to invest all his energy into ensuring that CDM creates a conducive environment for young people to release their potential, seize opportunities and enjoy prosperity.
“In the spirit of our astute liberation icon, president OR Tambo, let us work together, join minds and find lasting solutions to challenges that hamper youth development and achieve our economic transformation agenda for youth. Tambo’s interest and vision was to see young people enjoying opportunities that are tailored deliberately to change circumstances that were brought by the affliction of poverty and scourge of socio-economic marginalisation project of the past legacy,” Masubelele said.
Projects and activities implemented during 2016/17
The youth were informed regarding the municipality’s involvement in youth activities and events that included the ‘Take a boy/girl to work project’ that was hosted on 25 May 2017, the appointment of young interns in different directorates of the municipality to develop skills, bursaries that were awarded for further studies, employment of temporary workers, a young entrepreneurship seminar on 23 August 2016 and a district winter school camp from 3 July 2016 were highlighted. A career information sharing expo that was hosted at Maraba Tribal Office on 17 August 2016 was attended by 300 learners and unemployed youths, while 150 youths attended the Young Scientists Expo that took place on 28 August 2016 at the University of Limpopo.
Inputs from participants in the seminar very informative
One of the youths that attended the seminar, Bridget Mphahlele, a student in Development Studies at Unisa, reckoned that government should provide an opportunity for youths to identify and develop their own programmes instead of developing it for them. “Give young people the responsibility in decision making.
Young people should not only participate due to the political organisation that they come from, but the participation platform in decision making should be versatile and accessible to any young individual, especially those from rural communities,” she said to Polokwane Observer.
Thabang Maesela, an Accounting Science student at Unisa said corruption was disabling government from fighting the triple threat of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Ernest Modiba, a youth from Ga-Makanye, said that he is concerned about the way internships at government workplaces are managed. “The internships are not tailored to meet the requirements of later work opportunities and should be structured respond to the demands of the industry,” he said.