Free State, South Africa – On Wednesday, 12 June 2019 Sasol, the Free State Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and the Metsimaholo Local Municipality acknowledged participants in Sasol’s second Youth Development programme that started in March this year.
The Sasol Youth Development Programme forms part of the National Youth Service Programme (NYSP). This is a government initiative aimed at engaging South African youth in community service activities to strengthen service delivery, build patriotism, and promote nation-building. The purpose of the programme is also to foster social cohesion and to assist the youth to acquire occupational skills necessary to access sustainable livelihood opportunities.
The Sasol initiative is a nine month skills training and development intervention that provides general and life skills training, access to practical work experience and mentoring to the participants. This year, the programme will run until 30 November 2019, benefitting 68 young people from Oranjeville in the Metsimaholo Local Municipality. The participants are not employed or studying at any education or training institution and are between the ages of 18 and 35.
Building on the success achieved by the first Youth Development Programme, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure this year facilitates two skills acquisition modules. Building and Civil Construction is an NQF Level 3 certified programme that will be followed by supervised practical work, which will be done in conjunction with the Metsimaholo Local Municipality. In addition, Environmental Practice, an NQF Level 2 certified programme, is offered to educate the youth on practical things that can be done to conserve the environment in our communities.
“The Youth Development Programme is one of a number of programmes offered by Sasol that assists young people in our fenceline communities to enhance their employability in partnership with government and other stakeholders in order to contribute to reducing youth unemployment in our communities,” said Charlotte Mokoena, Sasol’s Executive Vice President for Human Resources and Corporate Affairs.
The programme has 3 focus areas, namely personal development, career focused development and contributing to solve community needs.
The personal development curriculum focuses on knowing yourself and develops inter-personal relationship skills as well as emotional, mental, physical and leadership intelligence. The career focused development area provides personal financial management, career guidance, project management, and basic computer skills while also allowing for embedding of this learning into work experience. During the programme, participants will also contribute to the solving of community needs through physical work in the community such as cleaning identified areas, providing environmental education and performing infrastructure maintenance of public facilities.
There is a desperate need for development in Oranjeville as only 38% of the community are employed, earning R14 600 per year on average, according to Statistics South Africa’s South African Population Census 2011.
“We trust that this youth development programme will empower participants to gain experience and skills that will enable them to pursue a career, further their studies or even become an entrepreneur. Building on the successes and learnings from the pilot programme conducted during 2018, we trust that the 2019 youth development programme in Oranjeville will enrich these 68 candidates to become positive contributing citizens of South Africa,” said Metsimaholo Executive Mayor, Lindiwe Tshongwe.
“This programme provides an important avenue for labour absorption and income transfer to poor households in the short to medium term. It is a deliberate attempt by the public sector bodies to use expenditure on goods and services to create work opportunities for the unemployed under the Ministerial Conditions of Employment,” said Free State MEC: Public Works and Human Settlements, Motshidise Koloi.
“The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) with its origins in the Growth and Development Summit of 2003, has since its inception had the potential to provide poverty and income relief through temporary work for the unemployed to carry out socially useful activities. At the same time, it is structured to allow the young people the opportunity to find a clear sense of purpose for themselves and contribute to them developing opportunities to further their studies, enter the job market or even be self-employed,” said MEC Koloi.
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