Coega youth tackle poverty

24 July 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201915469

Education & Training
Social Development

IN honour of Mandela Month, July, young professionals from the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) recently took part in a youth dialogue aimed at addressing the issues of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

“I look at this room and I see a think tank for the youth in the Eastern Cape region,” said Bekani Madyibi, CDC Programme Manager addressing the gathering hosted at the corporation’s head office.

This campaign is a continuation of the efforts by CDC young professionals to decode access to opportunities.

“If we don’t use these kinds of platforms to come up with solutions, we are depriving ourselves of opportunities to grow and develop as young people, because we define the future.”

Following a panel discussion, a consensus emerged that that internship programmes

should not merely provide jobs for the sake of providing jobs but should upskill people socially and professionally.

It was also agreed that tackling youth unemployment would require input from multiple sponsors and that measures, programmes and initiatives that pursue job creation will need to be effectively structured to ensure meaningful outcomes.

Amongst the panellists was, CDC Business Development intern, Asive Ralarala (26) who currently holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning. She highlighted the importance of empowering young peoople with financial knowledge which would ultimately secure global appeal to improve the economy.

“We could only be able to open ourselves to free trade opportunities once we fully understand the essential need to learn about financial planning to improve our saving and investment plans,” she said.

Citing concerns regarding inequality, CDC ICT, Research and Strategy intern, Siyasanga Nqeketo (25), and CDC Web Development intern, Rene Marais (26) shared a similar view pertaining to the representation of young women in influential positons.

“Inequality is a broad topic on its own, however gender inequality seems to exist everywhere. Women of colour in particular are not represented as much, and this becomes a major concern when drafting solutions to issues facing the youth,” said Nqeketo, who holds a B.Com: Economics qualification. Marias is a qualified software engineer, who also holds a National Diploma IT support.

CDC SHEQ intern, Aphiwe Matwebu (25), who recently obtained an ND: Environmental Health qualification, argued that South Africa remains under-developed yet rich in resources.

“Looking at vision 2020, this discussion should rather focus on national building efforts and using the resources we have to bridge the gap,” he said.

“We need to take ownership in upskilling ourselves and design our own work opportunities as a long-term approach.”

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