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Joburg budget promotes youth development


Projects that promote youth development and employment opportunities received priority attention in the City's Budget delivered by the Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Councillor Geoffrey Makhubo, today.
Among the empowerment programmes that will be rolled out is the Vulindlel'ejozi initiative that will train more than 200 000 young people over the next 18 months and enable them to find employment or continue with further studies.

This is a partnership between the City, a youth development agency and the private sector. Participants will be screened and offered training before being absorbed in formal employment, participation in public works and youth service programmes.

MMC Makhubo said the City has listened to – and responded to – issues raised by residents during the process of community consultations leading up to the Budget. Among these were a request to devote more resources to youth development and programmes to address unemployment and lack of skills.

The Jozi@Work programme has already proven its value with projects to the value of more than R3-billion being allocated to community-based cooperatives and micro-enterprises.

Through this initiative the City is promoting a 'hand up', not a 'hand-out' culture and transforming its model of service delivery to involve communities with a strong preference for youth initiatives.

"Jozi@Work will transform the lived reality of many young people by providing job opportunities that will lift them out of poverty and contribute positively to the economy of the City," he said.

Another youth-oriented initiative is the 'Digital Ambassadors' programme launched in partnership with the University of Johannesburg. More than 3 000 young people will be trained and then deployed across the City where they will provide future digital literacy training to members of the community.

'Smart City' initiatives will further bridge the digital divide through the provision of basic levels of access to the internet across Johannesburg. This access to technology and connectivity will assist entrepreneurs and businesses to thrive, thus increasing economic activity in the City, said MMC Makhubo.

He called on the business sector and civil society to partner with the City and to invest in technology within the 'blue and green economies' that will stimulate innovation and grow the economy of Johannesburg.