Coca Cola Empowers Young Entrepreneurs During Youth Month
June is known as youth month in our country. On 18 June 2018, Coca Cola Beverage South Africa (CCBSA) together with the provincial government, Merafong City Local Municipality, Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA), and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) partnered together for the event, aimed at the development of young entrepreneurs in the area of Merafong City.
Coca Cola Beverage South Africa (CCBSA) implemented a programme called “BIZNIZ IN A BOX” which was piloted in 2015. Merafong City was the first town in Gauteng to be visited by CCBSA to launch the BIZNIZ IN A BOX programme for the youth of Merafong. The purpose of the programme is to foster entrepreneurial related skills through CCBSA’s Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP).
The workshop was held at the Carletonville Civic Centre. The workshop was also attended by the following leaders from the different participating institutions; Tshidiso Mohlomi from Gauteng Economic Development,Merafong Municipality’s Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Local Economic Development Cllr Nozuko Best, Acting Executive Director, Lemmy Jofile, CCBSA District Manager Tlhako Rachidi, Enterprise and Development Project Manager Akona Sishuba and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Manager Alexandra Stimela.
The programme was officially opened by Cllr. Best who thanked CCBSA for honouring Merafong with the programme.
Tshidiso Mohlomi indicated the high unemployment rate of the youth of our country of 36 % and, how the provincial government saw it fit to partner with CCBSA in creating a platform where the youth of our country could be pioneers of their own destiny. “The main focus of the provincial government is to create entrepreneurial spirit by developing future employers he said”. Rachidi emphasised how the youth of 1976 have fought their own struggle of the apartheid regime and, now it’s time for the youth of our generation to fight the struggle of unemployment by creating employment “an army of youth can change the economy of our country’’
Sishuba took the stage to explain the programme in detail; she stated that the programme in Merafong City will only operate in the townships of Merafong. It will run for a period of four to six weeks which will include assessments followed by a boot camp, where the entrepreneurs will be taught business skills in theory and practice. Those who would have successfuly completed the programme will graduate and receive certificates. Thereafter CCBSA will provide with containers to those who would have completed the programme to operate their businesses.
The youth of Merafong were eager to be part of the programme as they filled in the application forms immediately after the workshop. “We are honoured as a municipality to have a programme of this sort in our communities, a programme that will uplift the livelihood of our youth and boosts the economy of our town by creating young business pupils who will be future employers.” concluded Jofile.
Merafong Youth celebrates Youth Day in Khutsong
June 16 is a month that is celebrated by the youth of our country, celebrating the victory of the apartheid struggle which the youth of 1976 tersely fought. To date the day is still celebrated and the lives of those who lost their lives on that day are remembered.
The celebration was held at the Khutsong stadium and Executive Mayor, Cllr. Maphefo Mogale-Letsie was amongst the guests who graced the event. Mogale-Letsie gave a warm word of welcome “this day is a special day in our country we ought to celebrate it with understanding, knowing that young lions and lionesses took up the streets to fight battles which we are taking delight of in the democracy we live in.”
The municipality’s youth coordinator Endrew Mbaliso gave an informative speech, encouraging the youth to not give up in education and becoming future leaders of our country. He highlighted the fact that, “you become a young person once in your life, and we need to work hard for us to enjoy the benefits of our labour. If we indulge in substance abuse we are slowly killing our nation.”
A representative from MASAC Tumi Kubu indicated that the youth of Merafong is highly exposed to drugs. She also mentioned that the cause is the lack of knowledge of the issue. She then encouraged the youth to take part in youth programmes that are available in their areas so that they can be aware of the consequences of taking substance abuse.
A platform for engagement was opened where young people asked questions to the panel of guests, one of the frequent questions that was asked was, what is our local government doing to eradicate nyaope. Mbaliso indicated programmes which are available in our local communities, programmes which extract young people from street life, he also said they are working closely with SAPS to catch people who are selling nyaope to the youth. He further indicated that it was time they worked together as communities for a better South Africa for all.
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