MEC Albert Fritz engages West Coast youth and announces Saldanha Bay Youth Café

The Western Cape MEC of Social Development, Albert Fritz, joined by Saldanha Bay Municipality Mayor, Marius Koen, met with over 100 young people from Saldanha and surrounding towns on the West Coast. The visit forms part of an ongoing campaign to engage youth on development opportunities.

The Minister began his programme by meeting 20 learners who sit on the Saldanha Bay Municipality Youth Council, which is led by its Junior Mayor, Mr. Thabo Rhongo. The Youth Council raised issues of the need for economic development and employment for young people in the area as a means of tackling social ills.

In his remarks to the Youth Council, Minister Fritz highlighted the Department of Social Development (DSD) efforts in the region and the importance of young people taking the lead in development issues. “Through our West Coast Regional Office and network of local offices, DSD spends over R148-million on services in the region”, said Minister Fritz.

Minister Fritz announced plans to the Youth Council for the launch of the Saldanha Bay Youth Café, which is currently under construction. “We have allocated R15.6-million to the department’s Youth Programme, and I’m proud to say that this will also see the launch of the province’s 8th Youth Café, here in Saldanha Bay”, said Minister Fritz.

The Minister concluded the visit on the West Coast by launching the West Coast Youth Outreach stakeholder engagement. This saw 85 young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs) from across the region meet and discuss issues of drugs, teenage pregnancy, crime, and economic opportunities such as jobs, entrepreneurship, internships and the looming launch of the Youth Café.

The Department remains committed to youth development in the region, and will build on the work we are doing together with communities.

Source: Government of South Africa

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