Umsobomvu in financial trouble

Penwell Dlamini

Penwell Dlamini

Youth business organisation Umsobomvu Youth Fund is headed for closure at the end of the year unless the government pumps more money into it.

The organisation says they have received very little funding from the national treasury this year.

Chief executive of UYF, Melusi Kekana, confirmed that the UYF was running out of funds.

"For the financial year 2008/2009 we requested R400million from the national treasury but only received R5million. This can't help us keep up with the demands of the organisation," he said.

"If the situation remains the same there is a likelihood that we may be forced to close shop by the end of the year."

The ANC's Polokwane conference decided that the UYF and the National Youth Commission be incorporated into the National Youth Development Agency.

Since 2001, the UYF has financed youth projects to the value of R952,3million. A total of R474million was invested in small and medium-sized businesses while R40,4million was loaned to micro enterprises and co-operatives.

"We are extremely concerned that government does not seem to have the interest of youth at heart," said Joseph Mashita, president of the youth arm of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Thapelo Maleke, president of the SA Youth Chamber of Commerce, said: "The whole situation demonstrates a deliberate exclusion of young people in the mainstream economy."