Middleburg – MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Mr Sikhumbuzo Kholwane says government is concerned about the high number of youth and young graduates who are not employable by either government departments and the private sector in Mpumalanga.
The reality is that the majority of youth in Mpumalanga are not skilled enough to be absorbed by the job market, while on other side; there are graduates who find it very difficult to succeed in the working environment.
MEC Kholwane was speaking during the Nkangala District Youth Development Summit. He was giving an indication of the interventions towards ensuring that young and unemployed graduates get employed to positively change their lives.
‘’As the province, we have taken a bold decision that will see all required stakeholders ensuring that issues affecting youth are addressed as a matter of urgency. We have already started the process of creating a skills hub in the Province. The hub will ensure that majority of our youth are skilled and they will be able to be employable. They will also be empowered to even start their own businesses should they desire.’’
Young people of Mpumalanga have told us on several occasions that they don’t want hand outs. They prefer skills development opportunities, business opportunities and others need jobs. As a result, the ANC led government is determined to respond to the challenges,” said MEC Kholwane.
The MEC’s sentiments were echoed by Nkangala District Executive Mayor, Councilor Linah Malatjie. “As the Province, we are delighted that we have made by strides to ensure that issues of unemployed youth are being taken seriously.
In advancing Radical Economic Transformation, the youth of Mpumalanga have been put in the center of the epoch of the our revolution in various government departments, municipalities, and state entities in the province,”
MEC Kholwane further indicated that, “Poverty remains one of the biggest challenges facing our communities. While the rate of poverty has been reduced in recent years, the indicators still remain within unacceptable levels. There are about 1.43 million people in Mpumalanga who receive social grants, meaning that a third of the population of the Province is socially and economically incapacitated”.
A jovial Florah Maboa-Boltman, said “it gives me great pleasure to share this platform with people who are dedicated to the service of the people. I am convinced that we will come out of this room with concrete solutions to kill the scourge of poverty that is terrorizing our communities”.
While we were crisscrossing the municipality during the Local government election campaign last year August, I was almost reduced to tears when I saw with my naked eyes the inhumane conditions our people are subjected to on a daily basis. It hit me and I immediately realized that I needed to do something positive to help.”
The MEC also used the platform to challenge the guests, business executives and politicians present at the event to become part of the noble course. “The world will indeed be a better place if business and community leaders join hands to lift needy households out of the poverty trap.
I also have a trust Fund called the Izolwethu Trust Fund, which has made an imprint in the lives of people of Matsulu and surrounding areas in the past few years. I am also challenging others who are able to pick up the spear and make contributions in whatever way. Together we can do more.”