Young people in the province will take centre stage in a summit being convened by KwaZulu-Natal Human Settlements and Public Works MEC Peggy Nkonyeni in Port Shepstone on Thursday. Billed as a “Youth in Construction and Property Management Summit”, the programme is aimed at bringing positive change to young people of our province through training, education and business opportunities.
“Infrastructure development is a key driver of the economy and an area in which our young people deserve a much larger stake,” said Nkonyeni. The Department awarded 127 contracts to people between 18 and 35 in the 2018/9 financial year. “These projects tally up to just R52m in the overall context of a budget exceeding R3bn. There is still much more to be done to create access and success so far as the youth empowerment is concerned. As one intellectual said to OR Tambo that, the longest journey you take begins with the smallest step. It is indeed a little contribution that we intend to increase every day.”
She also pointed out that there is a government commitment to create at least 275 000 jobs annually for the next five years. In one of the largest single recruitment advertisements placed by any government department, Public Works recently advertised 139 positions in the built environment sector. “Our transformation must be radical especially in bringing unemployed graduates into our system,” added Nkonyeni.
The summit will also have presentations on the bursary, oceans economy, internship, our contribution to the 4th industrial revolution and work integrated learning offerings in the department. “This is also an opportunity for us to engage with our youth about their expectations and frustrations and further unnecessary red tapes. The current situation of poverty and increasing inequality is a huge threat to our democracy. We are a nation with huge resources and huge opportunities that have to be shared more equitably.”