By Kingsol Chabalala MPL, DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Emfuleni North:
The DA calls on Gauteng MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Jacob Mamabolo to intervene and resolve the spat between the Sedibeng District Municipality and the Emfuleni Local Municipality, over which is responsible for maintaining the Sebokeng Youth Advice Centre.
The centre is in a serious state of disrepair. The ceiling is damaged and has collapsed, and as a result, furniture is being used to hold up parts of it.
The centre also currently has no internet connection and had to close its doors recently after the electricity was cut off.
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This center is supposed to serve the youth living in Sebokeng and provide them with opportunities to empower themselves and contribute towards reducing unemployment in the area, which currently stands at 34.7%, and youth unemployment rate at 45%.
In stark contrast, the neighbouring DA-led Midvaal municipality’s unemployment rate stands at 18,8% and its youth unemployment at 25%.
Questions to the Sedibeng municipality reveal it to be in a dispute over the maintenance of the property, as it is claimed that the infrastructure belongs to the Emfuleni Municipality, while Sedibeng runs operations inside the centre.
While neither Sedibeng nor Emfuleni have made any effort to maintain the property, it has now fallen into complete disrepair and has had to shut its doors.
The result is that 2000 young people are now forced to sit at home with no opportunities.
The closest alternative is the Bophelong Youth Advice Centre, which is over 20 km away.
To this end, the DA will question MEC Mamabolo about this matter in the Gauteng Legislature next week, and demand he take the necessary steps to return the youth centre to full operations as soon as possible.