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​VARIOUS projects aimed at enabling sustainability, ensuring skills transfer and improving health and life expectancy will be staged during Youth Month.

Maponya Mall will hostMaponya Mall will host the Youth Business Festival ExpoOn 31 May, the City of Johannesburg launched its Youth Month programme in Braamfontein. “This is an initiative of a caring city,” said the communications deputy director, Nthatisi Modingoane. June is celebrated as Youth Month nationally in tribute to the school pupils and others who lost their lives during the 1976 uprisings, which began in Soweto on 16 June, and soon spread countrywide.

The youth programmes and initiatives will start with the Youth Business Festival Expo at Soweto’s Maponya Mall. It will run from 4 to 7 June. “Youth month is in line with the City’s 2040 strategy, which focuses on reducing poverty, promoting economic development and growth and ensuring sustainability through meaningful mobilisation of all who work and stay in the city,” he said.

Youth Business Festival Expo is organised by the Youth Group of Companies. It will highlight career and business opportunities available to high school children, graduates and out-of-school learners.

Tourism internship programme
Names of the 220 selected candidates for the tourism internship programme will soon be announced. Their internships will begin this month. They are aged from 18 to 35 years and include young people with disabilities. “We need to make sure that disabled youth get these opportunities as well,” said Modingoane.

Internships will take place at places such as travel companies, accommodation and hospitality establishments, and tourist attractions. Unemployed youth are the focus, with the intention to transfer much-needed skills to young people and lower the rate of youth unemployment.

“The City seeks to integrate the poor into the mainstream economy, address poverty and build strong administrative capacity to support growth and development,” he explained.

Bursaries for young peopleThe City is offering bursaries to young people“Bursaries are one of the many developmental initiatives that the City has undertaken for the youth. In the past, the City [has] awarded bursaries to candidates with excellent academic perfomances to study in various institutions,” he said.

Along with City Parks, Joburg has set up the Training Academy for Environmental Sciences. “This is an initiative is to empower the youth,” he said. Furthermore, 86 candidates have been selected to take part in a three-year learnership programme in horticulture. They were identified through Joburg’s Job Pathways/Workforce database

Take a girl child to work
Throughout Youth Month City staff will be encouraged to bring girls to work. “Bringing your girl child to work will bring exposure to career opportunities available.”

Sport is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, and young people need to be urged to play more sport. With this in mind, a number of sport programmes have been planned.

There will be sport events at Leeuwkop Juvenile Prison, for example. “This is part of the long-term objective to start a volleyball league at the centre.”

Furthermore, on 24 June, the City will host an Open Day and a 7km Fun Walk at Elmond Molele Park in Protea North in Soweto. Activities on offer will include aerobics and medical screenings, among others. The aim is to teach people about the benefits of living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases.

All the youth programmes and initiatives are undertaken under the theme “Unlocking future potential: nurturing young, outstanding, undeterred, thoughtful heroes”.

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