Specially elected councillor for Molepolole, Kabo Sebele, hosted an interactive workshop at the main Kgotla on Saturday where he invited relevant stakeholders from different government departments and parastatals to share and exchange ideas with the village youth on their programs and services aimed at enhancing living standards of young people in the region.
“After being approached several times by the youth in Molepolole for my intervention on difficulties that they had in getting funding and other related matters, I found it fit to organise this workshop,” Sebele told The Telegraph on the sidelines of the workshop.
Sebele said he was very impressed to see that the majority of the departments he had invited had shown up and praised them for their commitment.
“I was also impressed by the huge number of young people who turned up for the workshop despite numerous attempts by one area MP to sabotage the event,” he said.
Kamogelo Seboni, Commercial Officer 1 from the Registry of Companies and Intellectual Property, which was one of the stakeholders at the workshop, said she discovered after her presentation that people tend to register companies without familiarising themselves with the Companies Act. She said the workshop had shed a great deal of light on those who did not understand the mandate of the Registry of Companies.
Ministry of Agriculture’s Jacob Kalake praised Sebele’s idea for the workshop saying it provided a great platform to share ideas with the young people.
“The youth do not come to our offices to enquire about our programs and services,” he complained.
Kobamo Batsile from the Ministry of Health, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Division, says it had become apparent after his presentation that people did not realise there are harmful chemicals in home brewed alcohol.
“I also realised that some young people seem to think the alcohol levy is just the government’s way of making money, not realising its meant to help them,” Batsile said.
One of the young people who attended the workshop, Botshelo Kgatitswe, said the workshop had afforded them an opportunity to address certain issues that have been of great concern and advised the organiser, Sebele, to call senior government officials like, permanent secretaries, to address questions that their subordinates may not be at liberty or well equipped to answer.
Kgatitswe also took a swipe at the Youth Office in Molepolole calling it “useless and lacking competence”.
The same sentiments were shared by Christopher Kenalekgosi, Atamelang Kooagile and Maikano Motswasele (all youth grant beneficiaries) who called on Sebele to invite the Youth office alone so they can answer “many of our grievances” concerning the department.
Four councillors Motsholathebe Afitile of Lesilakgokong Ward, Poloko Motlhobogwa and Shima Monageng (Nominated Councillor) attended in support of Kabo Sebele. Several companies and organizations, among them LEA, CEDA, BNYC, HOPE, Register of Companies officers, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education were in attendance and fielded questions from the youth.
After the presentation by the Youth Development Fund (YDF) Department, the youth voiced out their concerns.
“The officers are reluctant to attend to us. We are always at their offices but the help we get is insufficient,” they said.
Other participants, Onthusitse Motswasele and the BACO WIZ Entertainment Production, said that after obtaining the funds it becomes difficult to operate.
“We are artists and therefore have performances at night but the police interrogate us. Why are we funded to buy the equipment and denied the opportunity to raise money. The police accuse us of making noise and therefore charge us.”
The YDF Officer, Kealeboga Ramhikela, in her answers said the youth should understand that at times resources are not enough for them to serve them and cited as an example that they have one vehicle to use to visit all projects.
Sebele said that he has other ‘big projects’ lined up but would not be drawn into discussing exactly what the projects entail.