Government has been urged to rethink the current youth empowerment projects and direct more financial assistance to middle aged public workers to encourage them to leave the public service, create employment and pave way for the more energetic youth.
Speaking in parliament last week, Mogoditshane Member of Parliament Sedirwa Kgoroba challenged government to start paying more attention to the middle class as they have potential to drive economic development. He added that most public workers are not willing to leave their jobs and start their own businesses because they do not know what the future holds for them after retirement.
“But there are other alternatives. We should finance these public workers particularly the middle aged personnel to create space for the struggling and vulnerable youths,” he said.
He added that the current youth empowerment schemes were not properly thought out and accused government of throwing money at problems.
When presenting the budget proposal last Thursday, Minister of Youth Sports and Culture Thapelo Olopeng said his Ministry was committed to contributing to economic growth and development through youth empowerment.
The Ministry has embarked on a comprehensive youth empowerment program under broad areas of strategic importance including Youth Entrepreneurship Development, Youth Advocacy and Behavioral Change, On the Job Training and Attachments; as well as promoting organizational efficiency within national and district youth structures.
“During the year under review a total of P929, 976.23 was spent on various youth entrepreneurship development interventions that covered 1,870 participants. We have also financed 952 youth enterprises at a cost of P90, 325,015.75,” Olopeng said.
He added: “As at February 18 2015 a total of P80, 709,333.55 was disbursed on 540 youth projects creating 963 employment opportunities.”
Through collaboration with the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) the Ministry has managed to train 295 program officers, positioning them to effectively support youth enterprise development and promotion.