Siyathemba youth air concerns

2015-06-24 06:00
YOUTH of the Siyathemba Local Municipality take to the streets to hand over a memorandum of grievances to Piet Papier, mayor of the municipality, on Wednesday, 10 June.  Photos: 

YOUTH of the Siyathemba Local Municipality take to the streets to hand over a memorandum of grievances to Piet Papier, mayor of the municipality, on Wednesday, 10 June. Photos: Supplied

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THE way forward regarding the relationship between the Siyathemba Local Municipality in the Pixley ka Seme District and its youth will be determined by the response from the municipality.

That is after the youth in the area took to the streets on Wednesday, 10 June, to hand over a memorandum to Piet Papier, mayor of the municipality.

The D-date for the mayor’s response to the memorandum is today, as he was given an ultimatum of 14 days.

The youth threatened that a failure to address their concerns would result in a mass youth defiance, one that would not be stopped by anyone.

They were angered by the unavailability of the mayor or the municipal manager to accept their memorandum of grievances. They felt their effort was undermined by the fact that an administrator in the municipality had been sent instead.

According to Raymond Motsemme, the regional secretary of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the Pixley ka Seme District, the mayor did confirm receipt of the memorandum after the march.

The memorandum highlights the youth’s concerns of not being exempt from the countrywide challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty that are facing young people.

“We believe that concerted efforts to address poverty at a local government level have to be institutionalised to address youth unemployment. We are further convinced that the lack of framework X as far as youth development in the municipality is concerned X is alarming and totally unacceptable,” reads the memorandum.

Among their demands listed in the memorandum is the establishment of a fully-fledged youth desk or unit with a trained career guidance officer, office manager and administration assistance.

The youth further demands the allocation of a sensible budget to drive youth programmes within their municipality.

According to Motsemme, there was nothing happening in terms of empowerment and recreation in the Pixley ka Seme District, except for the solar power project.

However, neither the youth nor the locals benefit from this project due to all suppliers being from outside, mostly Bloemfontein, he said.

“This is our last peaceful march. It depends on the mayor whether we will have to mobilise the youth for further action. It is all based on his response.”

The youth further demands that the municipality enter into a memorandum of understanding with all companies and government departments that have or are intending to start projects in Siyathemba.

The youth want them to employ the skills of local people, especially the youth, and to empower local Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) instead of outsourcing services.

Another demand stated by the memorandum is that a flat rate on the remuneration on projects should be paid and social responsibilities towards the community should be addressed through the establishment of an educational trust.

This should be inclusive of youth of different sectors, who will also determine the criteria for those who qualify.

There is also a demand for the upgrading of the showgrounds and upgrading and maintenance of Stasie 6, including the construction of a drive-in cinema

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