HERITAGE DAY: Minister Fernandez launches Youth Café in Riversdale | Western Cape Government



HERITAGE DAY: Minister Fernandez launches Youth Café in Riversdale

24 September 2021

In commemoration of Heritage Day on Friday, 24 September 2021, the Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, launched the Department of Social Developments twelfth Youth Café in Riversdale in partnership with the Hessequa Municipality. Please find the pictures attached. 

Youth Cafés are an initiative born out of the Provincial Youth Development Strategy, which calls for improving education outcomes (developing crucial skills for employment) and opportunities for youth, mainly focusing on those Not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEETs), in the 16 to 35 cohort. 

 "Youth Cafés offer young people the opportunity to acquire job readiness skills, gain entrepreneurial insights and training, and learn how to access funding opportunities, as well as practical training programmes across various sectors. They offer an accessible environment where young people may also find a sense of belonging among like-minded peers.

I am mindful of the importance of Youth Development. The importance of such services could not come at a better time, especially as we continue to mitigate the economic effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said Minister Fernandez.

An investment in the youth is an investment in the future. Therefore, the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) has opened several Youth Cafés around the province to create safe, creative spaces for young people to develop their potential and access opportunities. 

An intergovernmental committee was established to oversee the set-up and funding process for the Riversdale Youth Café. It was agreed that the Youth Café set up will proceed as a partnership between the Hessequa Municipality and the DSD, with each partner contributing the agreed support and funding.

SUFF Development Agency NPC, a registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) established in 2009 that focuses on providing skills training, mentorship and tech-driven entrepreneurship programs to young people, will be charged with the day-day operating of the Youth Café.

Pernill Busch, 19, who currently attends a Youth Café on a regular occasion, had the following to say about his experience, "In the short period of time since I started using the Café, I've used the skills I've learned to use the technology of the day and to assist others to do the same with the technology in their daily lives."

For the current financial year, R14.974 million has been budgeted towards ensuring that at least 10 000 youth in the province are provided with opportunities to access skills and personal development programmes.

The provincial DSD currently funds 27 Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) to provide opportunities for training and development, with a particular focus on those youth who are Not in Education, Employment and Training (NEETs) across the province.  

The programme targets the most vulnerable and valuable youth, with a focus on the following:

· Life and personal skills development;

· Work skills development;

· Leadership development;

· Mentoring;

· Internships through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and;

· Informal skills development.

"We understand the value of our youth, who are the future of our country. We have a vision we want to realise, and that is to help every young person in the Western Cape to be an inspired, educated, responsible, independent, healthy and productive citizen with positive personal, family and social relations," concluded Minister Fernandez.

The public can access our services by visiting any local DSD office or contacting the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250 for information to access help.

For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department's Website below:


Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 083 661 4949

Email: Joshua.chigome@westerncape.gov.za­