Western Cape Government is Committed to Youth Development
Statement by Western Cape Minister of Social Development Albert Fritz
I take strong exception to the statement released by Cosatu, criticising the Western Cape Government for not attending today’s youth summit at the Good Hope Centre.
At 17:20 on Wednesday 9 April, (yesterday) a draft programme was sent through to my office, with tentative details of today's youth summit. There was still no indication of a slot on the programme, for the Western Cape Government to contribute meaningfully to the summit, other than a request for me to do the welcome. In other words, our presence was requested, without a platform on which to engage the audience about what the Western Cape Government is doing in terms of youth development.
On Tuesday 8 April, the Premier and I launched the Provincial Youth Development Strategy at the Rocklands Youth Café in Mitchell's Plain, which is just one tangible deliverable of the strategy. The young people of Mitchell's Plan have embraced and taken ownership of the youth café and it has in its short existence since 20 January 2014, given services, opportunities and support to hundreds of young people who would otherwise have been idle. The programme is so successful, that another youth café will be opening at Vangate at the end of April, with more in the pipeline for Atlantis, Nyanga Junction and George.
Instead of holding fruitless talk-shops and making hit and run promises to our youth in the run-up to an election, the Western Cape Government has been and will continue to expand services, opportunities and support to all the young people of this province, irrespective of their political affiliations.
On Saturday last week 190 students graduated from the Chrysalis Academy in Tokai, and on Monday morning, all of them started working. The Chrysalis Academy is the Western Cape's flagship youth development programme and has over the past three years placed hundreds of young people into work opportunities. These opportunities have given them a ticket out of poverty and the chance to lead lives they can value.
The Western Cape Government is committed to the holistic wellbeing of our youth and will continue to deliver opportunities, better together.
If Cosatu really cared about the youth in this province and the rest of South Africa, they would be showing their support for the Western Cape Government’s highly successful Work and Skills programme and PAY project and would be lobbying national government to implement the same type of youth wage subsidy and internship programmes across the country.
But instead they choose rather to place party politics, and playing the race card, ahead of the needs of young people in the Western Cape and the rest of the country.
Minister Albert Fritz
Cell: 083 307 0192
Spokesperson for Minister Fritz
Cell: 083 280 9199