YOUTHS CALL MAYOR’S DEVELOPMENT PLAN A BLUFF
By: Gift Nyamapfene
Youth said that they are not confident in Mayor James Nxumalo’s development plan presented in the official R35bn municipal budget.
The youth development plan promises that the municipality will invest R1 million to assist students with registration fees for tertiary studies next year.
Mcebo Gazu, an Information Technology student said, “R1 million will only cover a few people and what happens to the rest? I do not think this was a good plan by the local government. A lot of students like me need this registration money to go and register.”
“Many students will lose NSFAS if they fail to register and it is not easy to get a bursary,” he said.
Gazu raised a concern over prospective tertiary students stating that most young people who wish to study at university will not make it and will end up stranded on the streets.
“Maybe if they could allocate half of the money used to build President Jacob Zuma’s private house (Nkandla), it would be enough,” said Gazu.
Thousands of students at tertiary institutions in Durban failed to register for the 2014 academic year due to lack of funds early this year. This sparked violent protests and legal action from university administrations.
Mayor Nxumalo said that youth development would be prioritised with the Youth Office expected to be established in the mayor’s office. He said youth issues will be mainstreamed in all units within the municipality with the view to accelerate programmes of youth development and empowerment in particular skills development. “Skills development and creation of opportunities for experiential training remains central in our response to the challenge of youth unemployment,” said Nxumalo.
According to Statistics SA, one in two people under the age of 25 who are actively seeking a job cannot find employment.
Mncedisi Ngcobo who is studying Retail Marketing said that he had no high hopes for the mayor’s plans.
“I know many young people who have been promised these opportunities in the past and they have since been sitting at home,” said Ngcobo.
“If this plan works by any chance, I hope many young people benefit,” he said.