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THE construction of the June 16 Youth Memorial Institute is still underway at the June 16 Heritage Acre in White City, Jabavu.
Having started in November 2010, the R28 million project was supposed to be completed in November last year but because of delays, it is expected to be completed within the next two months.
The institute, situated opposite Morris Isaacson High School, will include a multimedia room, a computer room, a main exhibition room, a reception area, a 100m memorial wall and a ramp for the disabled.
“The memorial wall will capture all the significant stalwarts and their contributions to the struggle. All those who led the revolt will also be recognised,” said Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development spokesman Philemon Motshwaedi.
The site has the shape of an AK-47, which was chosen because it was one of the sentimental elements that symbolise the liberation struggle of SA.
“The facility will be landscaped in such a way that there will be grass and a garden… so that people can rest as they visit,” he said.
The institute’s objectives include partnering with institutions of higher learning to develop an accessible June 16 history reference centre, offering support programmes to out-of-school youth and helping them acquire skills and employment through leadership training and mentoring.
“Phase 2 of the project may speak to broader plans for the adjacent open space, but the details are not yet finalised by the stakeholders,” said Motshwaedi.
Approximately 100 people have thus far bene- fited from the on- site training.
Dexter Ndlovu, 36, worked as a labourer before becoming an administrator on the project.
“We were recruited and interviewed last year to assist with earthworks by cleaning the yard and preparing the grounds for construction,” he said.
The White City resident learnt how to multitask quickly.
“You are more than just a labourer. We empower ourselves and have a better living. It’s community driven and it’s up to you to use these opportunities,” he said.
Maria Moloi, 45, is another beneficiary of the project.
She joined the construction team because of unemployment.
“My children are in school and my husband is not working. It’s been a struggle to afford things and maintain everyone.
‘‘This has helped me provide for my family,” she said, adding that she has learnt how to start building a structure from scratch.
From flattening the ground to using machinery, concrete mixing and bricklaying, Moloi has learnt it all.
She said her newly acquired skills would stand her in good stead to find future job prospects once the construction of the memorial site was complete.
“All our projects are designed in such a manner that they are labour intensive in order to open doors for employment opportunities with- in the benefiting community,’’ Motshwaedi said.
‘‘The EPWP (Expanded Public Works Programme) component of our projects ensures that all those participating leave the project with skills that they can use.”