Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Caucus Leader
Job training and opportunity is the highest priority for young people in deprived areas of Merafong in the far west of Gauteng.
This is my conclusion after visiting and staying overnight in Kokosi township, which is a mixed area of shacks and established houses.
It’s a forgotten area that President Jacob Zuma should include on his list as reason not to sleep peacefully at night, as he reportedly said at the ANC’s Policy Conference.
Unemployment amongst youth is extremely high as local mines and agriculture don’t provide enough jobs.
There are few sport or recreation facilities to occupy their time, so it is no surprise that drug and alcohol abuse is high.
People dream of getting an RDP house, but realistically this is unlikely to be on sufficiently wide a scale to satisfy everyone. And when they get a house they will have a problem paying for services.
The housing allocation process is widely believed to be corrupt, which gives rise to much bitterness.
It was heart-warming to see home improvements in Kokosi amongst those who have income, but sadly there are many who will remain in shacks for the rest of their lives.
Food gardens would assist in improving nutrition as well as giving purposeful activity.
Arranging title deeds would also assist in giving security of tenure that would assist economic activity.
I spoke with young people who wanted further education and training that would lead to a job, but complained that council bursaries were only given to ANC members.
It’s a very sad situation that would be alleviated by the youth wage subsidy that has been unconscionably delayed by the internal politics of the ANC alliance.