Boksburg: The new Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund (SMSF) will be launched on 14 March, says President Jacob Zuma.
“On the 14th of March, we will launch the new Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund, run by the NYDA (National Youth Development Agency). This is a 10-million rand fund designed to provide financial support to youth primarily in rural areas,” said President Zuma.
He was speaking at the inaugural Presidential Youth Indaba on Jobs and Skills in Boksburg on Sunday.
The fund serves as a living memorial to freedom fighter Solomon Mahlangu (1956-1979).
The R10 million fund’s purpose is to avail financial support to youth to enable them to pursue quality education in an institution of higher learning with youth in rural areas as primary target.
The fund is accessible to deserving South African youth who meet the minimum entry requirements set by the NYDA – youth who have been admitted for study at credible Universities and Universities of Technology, local and international.
Among the objectives of the fund is to increase the chances of employability or entrepreneurship based on the positive correlation between level of education and employability.
Applications for the fund closed in September 2013.
Government is investing heavily in education in a country that has a high unemployment rate among the youth.
At the opening of the Indaba on Friday, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said that progress has been made in the last nine months since the signing of the Youth Accord in April 2013.
“The employment of young people has accelerated. There are now just over 6.1 million youth who are employed. Since the signing, youth employment [people under 35] rose by 420 000, the biggest rise in youth employment in a long, long time,” said Minister Patel.
The Accord makes several commitments to improve education and skilling of young people, and helping them to find jobs and start their businesses. In it, government also commits to increase the number of people employed in the public sector, while certain industries are to set youth development targets.
SOURCE: South African Official News