Unemployed youth upbeat about skills and enterprise development Youth Camps...

Potchefstroom: Another group of about 200 unemployed young people from across the North West Province’s 19 Local Municipalities have today, Wednesday 16 March, descended the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) Military Base in Potchefstroom for a5-day long Youth Camp which will end on Sunday, 20 March.

This group comes after the successful hosting of a similar session early this month, which was attended by a different group of unemployed youth at this Military Base.

Organised by the Office of the Premier’s Youth Entrepreneurship Services (YES) in partnership with the SANDF, the camps seek to expose the province’s unemployed youth to skills and entrepreneurial development opportunities available in the public and private sectors.

Galaletsang Mokgothu, a 30-year old matriculant from Phaposane village near Ganyesa in Kagisano-Molopo Local Municipality, says her hopes are very high about this session.

“Since after completing my matric, I have always had a thought of establishing a small business of my own, but I have never come across information on what opportunities are there, and which doors to knock at for help. For some of us, the Youth Camp idea is the beginning of more good things to come, as I hope that after this five days, I will be able to make an informed decision about which business field to explore”.

For Galaletsang Moreki, 32, from Tlaakgameng village, the discipline and order that will prevail among the youth for the next five days is what fascinate her more.

“I have always wished to be employed by the South African Police Service, and after being told how this Youth Camp is going to be conducted, under the strict observation of the SANDF, I am even more encouraged and hopeful that one day I will be a police-woman”, says Galaletsang after an orientation session.

“I am happy that none of us will be allowed to have access to a cell-phone for the entire camp duration, meaning our focus will be nowhere else, except on what we will be discussing. We will not only gain knowledge about employment and development opportunities, but will also learn the significance of respecting orders and adapting to different environments”, adds Galaletsang.

Explaining how young people attending these Youth Camps are identified, Thapelo Sekawana, the Director for Youth Entrepreneurship Services (YES) programme in the Office of the Premier, says the work-placement database established during the Setsokotsane outreach programmes and the various departments and municipalities’ youth programmes database are used as reliable sources for identification of relevant attendees.

“Our target is to reach 2000 unemployed young people by November this year, through a series of Youth Camps that will be held in Military Bases in Potchefstroom, Mahikeng and Zeerust respectively. We are thus far satisfied about the attendance and general conduct of the youth”, sustains Sekawana, adding that the Reconciliation, Healing and Renewal programme is also playing a critical role in the Youth Camps programme.

Government departments and institutions such as the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Independent Development Trust (IDT), National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), and North West Development Corporation (NWDC) are amongst those expected to share information on opportunities available for youth in their respective organisations during this Youth Camp.