The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Nomusa Dube-Ncube has urged young people of the province to take advantage of economic opportunities that government is making available to them in order to play a central role in the effort to create jobs and to stimulate the spirit of entrepreneurship in the province.
Premier Dube-Ncube assured the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal that in April the Office of the Premier will steam ahead with the disbursement of R50 million from the Youth Empowerment Fund as part of the second tranche of applications received in 2022.
The Premier further announced that for the current 2023/24 financial year, a total of R100 million is set aside for youth empowerment.
The Youth Empowerment Fund has been further repurposed to benefit more young people and to spread its reach to rural areas and townships.
Premier Dube-Ncube was briefing the Finance Portfolio Committee on the budget set aside by the Office of the Premier to deliver on the commitments made during the recent State of the Province Address in February.
“We are determined as the province to make our young people job creators as opposed to only job seekers. We have demonstrated this in practice through earlier allocations and support to youth enterprises which have now entered the business market and are undertaking entrepreneurial activities and creating jobs.
Since launching the Youth Empowerment Fund a total of 53 youth enterprises have benefitted and they have created close to 500 jobs employing other young people with some landing contracts outside the borders of the province and the country while growing the economy in the process,” the Premier told the Committee.
Tabling the pre-Budget to the Finance Portfolio Committee is done ahead of the Office of the Premier Vote One Budget Vote scheduled for April and Premier Dube-Ncube said the provincial government is “determined” to reach its target of benefitting young people and leaving no one behind.
“We want our young people to be at the centre of revitalising township and rural economies. The Youth Empowerment Fund is making a huge impact in levelling the economic playing field, sustaining jobs and incomes for the youth and is a pioneering initiative of our ANC-led government.
In addition,we will ensure that government procurement spend also makes use of youth-owned projects in townships and rural areas in order to boost their role in mass employment creation and engendering the spirit of private enterprise,” said Premier Dube-Ncube.
*MILLIONS BUDGETED TO SUPPORT WAR ON CRIME AND MASS EMPLOYMENT CREATION*
Premier Dube-Ncube also assured the Finance Portfolio Committee that the process of allocating R10 million from each department to aid the work of the police in the fight against crime and another R10 million for mass employment creation in wards in KwaZulu-Natal, is proceeding well.
The Departments are looking into reprioritising within their baseline budgets and to spend where it matters the most, in the fight against crime and to drive mass employment.
The Premier told the Finance Portfolio Committee that these are properly funded policy mandates in line with all the relevant budgeting systems and the proper and accountable management of public funds.