Youth: dept defends Govender

2010-08-20 00:00

IT is entirely untrue that the departments of Human Settlement and Public Works are neglectful of the youth, and there are several ongoing initiatives to prove this, Sureshnee Govender, the acting media liaison for both departments, said yesterday.

She was responding to a call by the ANC Youth League that the MEC for the departments, Maggie Govender, should be sacked for failing the youth of the province.

Govender said there has been a steady increase of youth into the expanded public works programme (EPWP), which started in 2004 with 2 894 youths. This incrased to 11 487 in the past year, a 400% increase at a time when both departments experienced budget cuts of 7,5%.

The departments also have a national youth service which is a sub-programme of the EPWP.

The KwaZulu-Natal Public Works and Labour deparments, the youth commission and the premier’s office offer learners accredited classroom and practical skills as well as receiving payments during the learning period.

Since the programme started in 2007, learners have received classroom and on-site training in bricklaying, carpentry, plastering and contractor learnerships, said Govender.

“A total of 184 learners received their certificates at the youth summit on June 4. Thirty learners have secured permanent employment with established construction companies. The department has also seen the establishment of a youth-owned construction company.

“… Similarly, the youth have been part of a course on all aspects of property development and an internship programme that seeks to provide practical work experience in areas of engineering, architecture and quantity surveying.”

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