ANC welcomes youth empowerment projects

African National Congress (ANC) in Bokone Bophirima has applauded the province’s Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, for catering for young people in his Office of the Premier Budget Vote Speech. 
Mahumapelo tabled his 2018/2019 financial year budget at the North West Provincial Legislature on Tuesday. A total budget of R775 381 was approved by the province’s lawmakers. 
ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) spokesperson, Gerald Modise, said young people are hungry for better empowerment options. Modise further said that more young people would continue to benefit from projects implemented by the provincial government.
“It is so imperative to support the youth by capacitating them with skills, mentorship and bursaries. Our population consists of 50% of young people and most of them are rejecting the status quo and demanding a better future. We are grateful that many of them are claiming their right to decent living and they are willing to take risks to do so,” said Modise.
“We also want to encourage the youth to study harder because education is the most important tool to eradicate unemployment, inequality and poverty. The ANC will continue to ensure that our youth is allowed to realize their full potential and contribute to economic growth. The more young people grow into well-educated adults with fewer dependents, the better,” he said.
Mahumapelo said his office has achieved a lot through the Youth Entrepreneurship Service (YES) and state-owned entities such as North West Development Corporation (NWDC). He said many young people across the province have been linked with and assisted through skills, entrepreneurship and job creating opportunities.
“We have 1000 youth on general security practices learnership. We also have another 100 youth who are now retail store owners supported by the VTSD [Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies] retail economy. Going forward, the entity will receive funding through the Office of the Premier to carry out its mandate in terms of the North West Youth Entrepreneurship Services Fund Act that was passed by the Provincial Legislature recently”.
The Premier said during the 2017/18 financial year, Office of the Premier spent R48million to fund 403 students VTSD areas to pursue studies in public universities. 
“An additional R12m was spent to fund the enrolment of 43 students with the Denel Technical Academy (11 as Electricians, 12 Aircraft Mechanics, 10 Fitter & Turner and 10 Welders). In the new financial year 2018/19, additional 115 bursaries will be allocated to support youth from poor and working class families in our VTSD areas,” he said.
Mahumapelo said the province hosted a successful VTSD Skills Development Lekgotla attended by 300 participants from all over the country, including representatives from national government departments. He said the NWDC has received a massive boost after it secured R110m worth of investments for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Bojanala District.
“This was our effort to establish a special economic zone in the region and this project is estimated to attract investment to the value of R4 billion. The project has potential of creating 6 045 jobs over a five year period. Through the NWDC, a retail warehouse has been established and launched in Potchefstroom. In addition to the warehouse, a mini shopping complex, comprising of a butchery, tuck shop, hardware store and a hair salon has also been launched in Ventersdorp. More than 100 beneficiaries have been identified and have undergone training. It is our intention to further roll out the VTSD tuck shop economy to the rest of the districts,” Mahumapelo said.