Youth unemployment prioritised

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THE battle of youth unemployment is intensifying with the provincial government vowing to put more focus on programmes aimed to eradicate unemployment.

Premier Supra Mahumapelo said the department would change focus and prioritise programmes aimed to reduce poverty and youth unemployment levels across the province’s villages, townships and small dorpies.

He said the change was meant to ensure that the provincial department’s 2018-19 Annual Performance Plans (APPs) which were being developed, address the challenge of high youth unemployment in the province, which according to statistics South Africa is at 38%.

“In our meeting with the MECs and heads of departments, the instruction was very clear – they must refocus their service delivery plans and ensure that unemployed youth and poverty alleviation programmes take centre stage,” Mahumapelo said.

“It can’t be business as usual, we need to assertively and swiftly respond to the needs of our young people and the growing poverty stricken Bokone Bophirima population.”

StatsSA said the population of Bokone Bophirima had recently grown from 3.5 million to 3.84 million.

Mahumapelo said the Annual Performance Plans must now show the extent to which departments were going to not only create the necessary conditions for young people in the province to thrive through entrepreneurship, but to also show numbers of young people government was going to employ, including through partnerships with the private sector.

“Linked to this process is the migration of the North West Transport Investment (NTI) to the NWDC and the dis-establishment of the North West Housing Corporation. This means that the NTI will no longer have its own board and the two entities, NTI and NWHC, will now be under the NWDC board which will soon change into NWPEGA,” Mahumapelo said.

He also said, through the Ikatisong School of Governance, the provincial government was looking at reskilling the unemployed youth, this to enable the province to become relevant to the economy.

“One example in this case is a limited number of meat inspectors we have in the province, which has become a challenge affecting the exportation of meat with necessary quantities,” he said.