Council imparts skills to youth

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The impoverished Ugu District municipality on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast this week signed a memorandum of understanding with a local Further Education and Training (FET) institution to ensure that imparting skills to the local youth is given priority.

The district had invested more than R4,5million of its 2008/9 budget to the youth.

District mayor, S'thembiso Cele, said: "We will be taking about 150 youth this year to work in our local municipalities in different fields so they can get the required skills. They will be paid by the district."

He said the region is faced with the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

"About 75percent of households here earn less than R1600 a month and 50percent are not economically active."

More than 32percent of people in the district do not enjoy the basic right of having clean water within 200 metres. The region will have to fork out R1,2million to eradicate water backlogs. The sanitation backlog is estimated at 40percent and affects about 70000 households.

For three consecutive years, the district got a clean bill of health from the auditor-general for its outstanding financial management. "Our books are in an impeccable condition, and have received three successive unqualified audit reports," Cele said.

The district, which is a presidential poverty node, has executed its functions in line with the government mandate to ensure that poverty becomes history.