14 February 2013

South Africa: Gauteng Empowerment Scheme

press release

Sinks Gauteng Young Entrepreneurs

The IFP Gauteng Province (IFP-GP) is incensed to hear that 2300 Gauteng young entrepreneurs, as reported in one of the weekend newspapers, are left without any guidance or direction following the Gauteng Economic Development Department's decision to halt the R30 million it had forked to set up the Youth and Graduate Entrepreneurship Programme, dubbed Y-age.

The decision is regrettable due to the fact that it seems no proper consultation and engagement with affected parties was taken. This action though is becoming a hallmark of the Gauteng government; one only needs to remember the current e-tolling problem.

The IFP-GP views this as a manifestation of failed policy, failed implementation and failed accountability, due to the nature in which the project was cut short, with the project service providers now owed more than R12m, while scores of young entrepreneurs are now left unskilled and stranded.

According to the IFP-GP this is odd, because this project was highly touted by the former Economic Development MEC Qedani Mahlangu during its inception in 2011. In the her State of the Province address last year Premier Nomvula Mokonyane waxed lyrical about this project being a key driver in reducing youth unemployment.

But as things currently stand today, the close down illustrates a lack of decisiveness and continuity on developmental projects, and this is a case worth noting for the newly appointed MEC Nkonsiphendule Kolisile.

IFP Caucus Leader in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) Bonginkosi Dhlamini made a call saying: "We call upon the Department of Economic Development to re-evaluate its decision of closing down this empowerment scheme, not only for the purpose of rectifying their blunder. But because we as government need to begin to seriously address the problem of youth unemployment, for our youth deserve better after our hard struggles against Apartheid and Colonialism."

"We urge this government of Gauteng to begin to formulate and implement the correct policies from now on, and to also reflect on the precept enshrined in the constitution, which outlines that, everyone has the right to further education, which the state, through reasonable measures, must make progressively available and accessible," concludes Dhlamini.

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