Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, joined dozens of young people from Prince Albert, Leeu Gamka, and Klaarstroom on 28 January 2023 for a Youth Indaba hosted by the Prince Albert Community Trust (PACT).
PACT is a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) providing services to uplift, empower, and transform communities in the Prince Albert Municipality. Its three focus areas are: education, health and well-being, and youth and skills development.
The purpose of the Youth Indaba was to share information about job opportunities that will arise from the maiden Journey to Jazz Festival, taking place from 03 to 07 May 2023 in Prince Albert. The Indaba also had experts in the fields of events management, videography, photography, and the performing arts sharing their knowledge with the youth.
“Prince Albert’s saviour is eco-tourism. I’m hoping the Journey to Jazz Festival will open us up to a global audience and grow the economy of the town. I hope the youth walks out of this Indaba excited and wanting to be part of this, wanting to be part of the history of the town. But we still need a buy-in from the private sector, to really make this a success,” said PACT executive trustee, Ingrid Wolfaardt.
Prince Albert Mayor Linda Jaquet said: “This is an opportunity for young people to learn valuable skills in the lead up to, during, and after the festival. My dream is that Prince Albert will be the festival capital of the Central Karoo, and these skills will be used all the time.”
When speaking to the youth, Minister Fernandez shared her experiences in the Kannaland Municipality, where she’d recently conducted a visit. Here Minister Fernandez joined Western Cape Department of Social Development social workers on site visits to clients. She saw first-hand the immense challenges facing communities, especially the youth, like a lack of job opportunities, substance use disorders and abuse.
“When I was in Kannaland, I met a young woman who has had nearly every obstacle thrown at her from an early age. She’d just found out she’s been accepted into the university of her choice, and she was so excited about what this meant for her future. She told me she wants to be successful, not just for herself, but for her family and the rural community she lives in. Her story filled me with so much hope, and I want to encourage you as young people to keep hope alive, no matter your circumstances. Embrace opportunities like this Youth Indaba, because you are the drivers of change, you are the future of this country,” said Minister Fernandez.