Environmental Affairs on youth environmental projects and programmes during Youth Month - June 2018
The celebrations for the 2018 Youth Day will take place on Saturday, 16 June 2018 at Orlando Stadium, Soweto in Gauteng Province. The launch of Youth Month was led by Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and NYDA under the theme: Live the legacy: Towards a socio-economically empowered youth”.
Youth Month takes place within the same year that South Africa marks the 100 years for Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu. Government and its agencies such as the National Youth Development Agency will over the month host a number of engagements including youth expos, dialogues and youth entrepreneur hubs to showcase opportunities available to young people.
However, the police and armed forces responded to the protest violently and the first fatality of the day was Hector Pieterson, a 12-year-old pupil who was shot by the police. It is believed that 175 others were also killed that day.
This violent backlash to what was meant to be a peaceful march caught the attention of the international community. After this event, many countries imposed sanctions on South Africa in an attempt to force the apartheid government to ease its repressive rule.
As we celebrate Youth Month, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) would like to emphasise its concern over the growing number of unemployed young people. As we begin the third decade of our democracy, the ability of our country to upscale a conducive environment for young South Africans to be absorbed into active economic participation, is of vital importance.
Youth Month coincides with Environment Month and DEA would like to take this opportunity to highlight its efforts aimed at job creation and empowering the youth in the environment sector. This period provides a great opportunity to raise awareness on the environment, environmental education, job opportunities in the sector and the green economy.
As part of our environmental sector contribution towards addressing the challenges of youth unemployment in the country, the department has initiated three projects / programmes which encourage better environmental management practices within our communities:
Youth Environmental Services (YES) Programme
Firstly, the Youth Environmental Services (YES) Programme set to benefit 2700 young people over a period of three years. Upon exiting the programme these young people are set to be placed in either permanent employment or further training institutions.
Youth Jobs in Waste Programme
Secondly, the launch the Youth Jobs in Waste Programme, in June, this project is expected to create 330 job opportunities in waste in the Free State and 326 in the North West provinces. The project is intended to provide 3 577 young people with job opportunities in waste management and related entrepreneurship.
Groen Sebenza Jobs Fund partnership project
Thirdly, the department undertook a concerted effort to build human capital in the biodiversity sector. Working with SANBI, through our programme Groen Sebenza, the department partnered with 33 organisations to create a cadre of 800 confident and competent people to work at all levels of government and in the private sector.
In addition to these youth employment initiatives, is the introduction of Environmental Monitors to deal with environmental threats in protected areas, including the scourge of rhino-poaching nationally. Through this programme, during the period of the 2013/14 finaicla year, 1 000 young people were set to be employed to strengthen the fight against rhino poaching and other environmental challenges.