Western Cape Human Settlements continues to prioritise youth empowerment
As we commence with Youth Month, it is important that all young people of the Western Cape are aware that their empowerment remains a key priority for the Provincial Department of Human Settlements. This is especially for those young people who are either active or interested in the construction sector.
We’re particularly committed to assisting the youth in the province through training and empowerment programmes. To demonstrate this, we have consistently ensured that not less than 50% of our Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG) is allocated to Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s), and for this 2021/22 financial year, it is no different.
This is confirmed by the 21 contractors with youth representation that are on current projects throughout the province.
To further demonstrate our commitment to the empowerment of the youth, during the 2019/20 financial year, 181 young people from across the province and inclusive of Drakenstein, Overberg, the Cape Metro and Garden Route, received accredited artisan training in plastering, plumbing, painting, bricklaying, carpentry, health and safety and other technical training. Not only were these young people trained, but they’ve also been placed at the various projects across the Western Cape.
Furthermore, the Department includes socio-economic empowerment targets in its tenders with specific conditions to allow for local sub-contractors and local labour, with a core focus on the youth. Should the contractors fail to meet the set targets, penalties are imposed on a monthly basis until such time that the local empowerment targets are met.
The Department has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC). Through this partnership, a 3-day Construction Technical Training programme was developed for Emerging Contractors, with the target audience predominantly being Women and Youth.
We are convinced that through upskilling our young people, we empower them to not only become entrepreneurs, but enable them to create opportunities for other young people and acquire meaningful employment.