Gauteng Premier David Makhura along with his cabinet have committed to ensuring that the youth of Gauteng become the best in the country.

“If we want our province to be the best in the country we should invest in the future of the province and this future belongs to our youth,” said Makhura Speaking at the Gauteng Youth Imbizo, Makhura also encouraged young people to engage with government on their needs.

The Premier was addressing a packed hall at the Nasrec Expo Centre on Wednesday afternoon. In attendance were learners from approximately 25 schools around the province. In addition to this, unemployed youth were also present to get information on how government can assist them and discuss the challenges they face and their role towards radical socio-economic transformation.

The event forms part of the province’s Youth Month celebrations. Makhura said daily he lies awake because there are thousands of young people in townships that loiter on the streets not knowing what to do.

“We can provide better education for the children who are in schools but those who are not in school wake up demoralised because they have dreams which are frustrated by the environment they find themselves in as they don’t know whether they’ll ever be employed”.

In any thriving economy it is important to address unemployment as there is a huge skills shortage in the country and we must find these young people before they go astray and resort to bad conduct such as drug abuse, he added.

In Gauteng we have a plan for the youth in schools and universities and annually we spend R220 million taking young people to institutions of higher learning. We are particularly concerned about young people without adequate skills, unemployed graduates and young people who have great ideas but don’t have the financial backing to achieve their dreams. We have the Tshepo 500 thousand programme to reach out to this sector of the youth.

Makhura said young people don’t have recreational facilities where they can develop their talent so the government has also introduced the Mabaleng programme which deals with grassroots sport development and improving sport facilities.

Operation Mabaleng aims to reach out to as many inactive and deprived townships; informal settlements and rural areas through sport activities such as Football, Netball, Cricket and other sporting codes.

Targeted by the project are mainly young people in and out-of school who find themselves with not much to engage themselves in due to lack of sporting and recreational facilities.
“You have a friend in our government that wants to hold your hand…we want to unleash that energy, creativity and talent to reach your dreams,” he said.



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