Buffalo City wraps up Youth Month with youth empowerment seminar

JUNE 28, 2016

To wrap up Youth Month, the Buffalo City Metro Youth Council together with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) held the inaugural Youth Economic Emancipation Seminar on Monday at the East London International Convention Centre (ELICC).

The seminar was held with the aim to encourage and motivate the youth to establish their own Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). The theme for this year’s seminar was, Enhancing Youth Economic Participation in Economic Development for Job Creation.

Speaking at the seminar Portfolio Head for Corporate Services Nomfezeko Ngesi said, “The young people of the Metro are faced with various socio-economic challenges such as unemployment, HIV/Aids, crime and various others.”

Ngesi added that seminars such as these are a great tool to encourage young people to not only seek employment but to create their own opportunities for economic freedom.

A panel discussion was held with representatives from various organisations including South African Breweries (SAB), ABSA Bank, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), the Office of the Premier Youth Unit, Soul City Institution of Social Development, Boss Babes Movement SA and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform were part of the discussion.

Speaking on behalf of SALGA, the Advisor for Human Development Natasha Poni said, “Not all of us are going to get a university degree but if you have a talent explore that talent.”

She also pointed out that a lot of musicians in South Africa are from the Eastern Cape.

Poni also encouraged young people to take up every opportunity that is presented to them and to learn to be independent about the decisions that they make.

The representatives presented and encouraged the youngsters to seek various sustainable employment opportunities and channels they could take to combat the issue of unemployed.

Discussions around the issue of how to fill in forms for bursaries, internships and the correct way to draw up a business which will attract investors to help fund their business ventures. 

Ayanda Msiza, an unemployed youngster from Duncan Village said, “The Metro needs to hold more information sessions such as these.

“We are often not aware of how to go about applying for internships or bursaries, the information I have received here will really help me in the near future.”

Founder of the Boss Babes Movement SA Yamkela Njingolo who was previously unemployed speaks about how the Non-Profit Organisation provides career and entrepreneurial guidance to South African women who aim to empower themselves. Njingolo reflected on the hardships she had to endure to get to where she is today.

“One lesson I have learned along the way of establishing my own business and being a business women is that if you want to go fast go alone, but if you want to go far take others with you,” said Njingolo.     

Due to the large numbers of aspiring entrepreneurs ABSA offered to organise and host a free one day financial management course on how to manage finances, how to draw up a business plan and the correct steps required to receive funding for a business model.