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Youth in Local Government Summit held to discuss and find solutions to challenges faced by youth in KZN

MEC Sipho Hlomuka said the challenges faced by youth in the province include gangsterism, the abuse of alcohol and other substances, high levels of crime and unemployment and Gender-Based Violence among others.

The Youth in Local Government Summit was held by the KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs(Cogta) in Newcastle. The aim was to discuss and find solutions to challenges faced by youth in KZN. Picture: Supplied.

Published Jun 26, 2022

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Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) held a Youth in Local Government Summit in Newcastle on Saturday.

Speaking at the event, Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka said the summit was part of efforts to commemorate and celebrate the role played by young people in the sphere of local government.

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He said Newcastle is an example of an area, just like other parts of the province, where several challenges are faced by the youth.

These include gangsterism, the abuse of alcohol and drugs, high levels of crime and unemployment and gender-based violence, among others.

The summit consisted of a panel of young people with strategic leadership positions within the province and country who shared their insights on some of the challenges that the youth face.

The MEC said the aim of the summit was to find practical solutions on how the sphere of local government can play an active role in finding solutions.

“Young people are the present and future of the country. They have ideas which need to be unleashed in order for us to solve some of the challenges that face our country,” he said.

Hlomuka said the provincial government believes in empowering the youth.

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The MEC listed Cogta interventions put in place to empower the youth:

  • A few years ago the Youth Graduate Programme was launched which employed young people who were deployed to municipalities where they improved institutional capacity through their skills in finance, engineering, ICT, built environment and other fields. This programme was a huge success and ended up recruiting 661 interns in total, including in-service trainees.
  • Bursary programmes were rolled out to assist young people with their studies.
  • Cogta said it continues to increase the number of participants in the Expanded Public Works Programme which primarily recruits the youth and women.
  • Premier Sihle Zikalala officially launched the R100 million youth empowerment fund on June 16, 2022, aimed at assisting young people acquire tools for their businesses.

Hlomuka said the government wants to see young people being at the forefront of innovation and coming up with solutions that will help grow the economy.

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KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs(Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka speaking at the Youth in Local Government Summit in Newcastle. The aim was to discuss and find solutions to challenges faced by youth in KZN. Picture: Supplied.

The Youth in Local Government Summit was held by the KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs(Cogta) in Newcastle. The aim was to discuss and find solutions to challenges faced by youth in KZN. Picture: Supplied.

The Youth in Local Government Summit was held by the KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs(Cogta) in Newcastle. The aim was to discuss and find solutions to challenges faced by youth in KZN. Picture: Supplied.

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The Youth in Local Government Summit was held by the KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs(Cogta) in Newcastle. The aim was to discuss and find solutions to challenges faced by youth in KZN. Picture: Supplied.

THE MERCURY

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