Youth Brigades to take housing forward

2017-12-14 06:00
Human Settlements MEC Helen Sauls-August tries her hand at bricklaying in front of the Youth Brigade. With her are Kouga Infrastructure Portfolio Councillor Freddy Campher, Speaker Horatio Hendricks and Councillor Virginia Camealio-Benjamin.                   Photo:SUPPLIED

Human Settlements MEC Helen Sauls-August tries her hand at bricklaying in front of the Youth Brigade. With her are Kouga Infrastructure Portfolio Councillor Freddy Campher, Speaker Horatio Hendricks and Councillor Virginia Camealio-Benjamin. Photo:SUPPLIED

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THIRTY-three young people from Humansdorp are benefitting from an artisan programme aimed at empowering unemployed youth.

The Human Settlements Youth Brigade programme is an initiative of the Department of Human Settlements, the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

Its aim is to create a resource base for the department’s projects and to leave a legacy of well-trained artisans with entrepreneurial skills.

At the provincial launch at Kruisfontein last week (5 December), Easter Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Helen Sauls-August, said the Humansdorp group formed part of 185 Youth Brigades being trained in this financial year in the province.

“In all the projects that we run, we must make sure that 30% of the budget is reserved for local beneficiation through employment and business contracting.

“We hope that these youngsters will be ready to participate meaningfully as independent role-players in future projects,” she said.

Sauls-August said a critical part of the programme was to identify suitable large-scale government housing projects and then partner with major sector players, who have the capacity to mentor and oversee the youth training on site.

Speaking on behalf of Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen, Speaker Horatio Hendricks thanked the department for creating an opportunity for Kouga’s youth to be involved in skills development programmes.

“We hope that the young ones will grab this opportunity and inspire others to take such opportunities seriously,” he said.

The Youth Brigades were recruited by the department and targeted those who had a maths and science background and were interested in the built environment industry.

They are from Kruisfontein, Arcadia and KwaNomzamo, as the areas were deemed the closest to the current housing project which may be used for on-site training.

The training programme is fully accredited, takes three years to complete and focuses on different aspects such as the technical side of construction, business and on-site mentoring.

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