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‘Media ignores youth agency’

Andile Lungisa

Andile Lungisa

Published May 31, 2011

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Marianne Merten

Political Bureau

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Not being Miss South Africa meant that he could not attract media coverage for the National Youth Development Agency’s work, or youth issues generally, its chairman, Andile Lungisa, said yesterday.

He was speaking during a briefing on the agency and its programme for Youth Month in June, co-hosted by Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane, who is responsible for the agency.

“I’m not Miss South Africa, so I can’t attract media. We must burn tables for the media to be interested,” said Lungisa after questions about why agency skills and entrepreneur development programmes had a low profile, particularly in its target market of young black people across townships.

Lungisa, who is also the ANC Youth League’s depu- ty president, and Chabane, admitted that more could be done, but said the agency’s R380 million budget would not be enough to dent unemployment among people aged 15 to 24.

They appealed for co-operation from the private sector, from business to civil society.

Still, Chabane pointed out, the agency had facilitated R64.4m in business funding for young people, giving 31 000 of them a leg up with business loans, while 5 277 young entrepreneurs had received business consultancy services vouchers to help them gain access to company registration and marketing services.

More than 11 000 young people had been linked to job opportunities through the agency’s database, while over the past two years the agency had sustained close to 60 000 jobs through various initiatives. Also through its offices, more than 400 000 young people had received career guidance, said Chabane.

During Youth Month, the agency will hold events under the theme “Youth Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime” to mark the 35th anniversary of the June 16 Soweto uprising.

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