Gauteng youth to be empowered: MEC
A programme to empower 10,000 youths is underway in Gauteng, Social Development and Agriculture MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said on Wednesday.
"...Twenty-five Non-profit Organisations (NPOs) will be funded to deliver youth development services and 10,000 youths will participate in youth outreach programmes in total," she said in Johannesburg.
The department was also identifying recipients of child care grants to introduce them to opportunities to break the cycle of poverty.
Mayathula-Khoza said these included learnership programmes and bursary schemes.
Drug and substance abuse was also a problem facing the youth and contributing to social decay.
Curing substance abuse would help to combat child abuse, violence, and the spread of HIV.
While the Gauteng Substance Abuse Forum was functioning well, there were problems that the department was addressing, she said.
Those who underwent rehabilitation often failed to complete after-care programmes, often leading to relapse.
Also, some NPOs did not comply with the norms and standards stipulated by government. The department was tightening up on monitoring such NPOs.
Domestic violence was also an on-going "serious threat to the moral fibre of society," Mayathula-Khoza said.
Her department was providing funding to NPOs that provided victim empowerment and abuse prevention services.
"These social ills should not be happening.
"It is not just a government problem, its a societal problem," she said.
The department would engage with communities to address the root causes of abuse.
In keeping with the provincial "war on poverty", the department embarked on a number of community outreach programmes.
"Our social workers don't belong in offices, they belong in communities," Mayathula-Khoza said.
The youth were not the only vulnerable sector of society; the disabled and elderly were also priority groups, she said.