Cape Town - Deputy Minister in the Presidency Obed Bapela and Cosatu have lashed out at the provincial government for failing to attend a jobs indaba in Cape Town yesterday.

The indaba, hosted by the National Youth Development Agency and the Department of Economic Development was a provincial report back of the Presidential Indaba on Youth Jobs – held in Johannesburg last month.

“Your premier is not here… here is no one from the provincial government. They don’t care about you or your plight,” Bapela told about 500 unemployed youths at the indaba at the Good Hope Centre.

Bapela said Social Development MEC Albert Fritz was meant to attend the event but had cancelled two hours before it started. “It is disappointing that no provincial government official attended an event of its national government,” he said.

“MEC Fritz requested to present their strategy. We do not allow provincial governments to present strategies at national government events. We collaborate all province’s strategies to ours and then present it. In our presentation (yesterday) we could give an overview of all nine provinces in the country,” he said.

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said 343 000 youths were employed in various industries – 185 000 in Gauteng and 100 000 in the Western Cape.

“Youths make up 60 percent of our country’s population. The Industrial Development Agency spent R2.7 billion on youth enterprises and NYDA spent R21.8 million. This is clear that we are serious about creating jobs for youths,” Patel said.

Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said, “The premier and the MEC will be exposed as incompetent in relation to minister Patel. The DA is hiding their stupid politicians… fit for purpose exposed for its lies. Blacks and coloured young people are rejected by the DA, as not important to the province. The DA does not want black youth competing with white youth for jobs.”


Premier Helen Zille’s spokesman, Zak Mbhele, said she informed the Presidency that she would not be able to attend and had tasked Fritz to represent the province.

Fritz said he took “strong exception” to Ehrenreich’s and Bapela’s comments.

“At 5.20pm on Wednesday a draft programme was sent to my office, with tentative details of the indaba. There was still no indication of a slot on the programme, for the Western Cape government to contribute meaningfully to the summit, other than a request for me to do the welcome,” he said. - Cape Times