Western Cape Social Development on hosting third annual Youth Excellence Awards

Department hosts third annual DSD Youth Excellence Awards

The Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Adv. Albert Fritz, yesterday addressed more than 500 guests at the third annual Department of Social Development (DSD) Youth Excellence Awards.

The awards were held at the main hall in Mutual Park, and are held in line with the Western Cape Government’s Provincial Youth Development Strategy, which enjoins us to celebrate and recognize the achievement of young people across the province.

The evening had a festive tone and the guests representing over 50 organizations from civil society, the public sector, and the private sector, enjoyed an evening of performances from young people in the dramatic arts, cultural groups and musicians.

In his welcoming address, Minister Fritz shared his experiences of this year’s youth development efforts, and celebrated young people who have overcome the odds and excelled. We increased our budget this year by R3-million, to spend R15-6-million on youth development initiatives. This has seen the year be characterised by progress, growth and greater rural youth participation, said Minister Fritz.

We held 7 Youth Outreaches this year, which targeted rural youth, and expanded our provincial Youth Cafe footprint to 7 facilities, with the launch of the Groot Brak River and Mitchells Plain Youth Cafes, said Minister Fritz. The Minister went on to honour young people who have achieved great heights this year, such as season 13 Idols winner, Paxton Fielies. Paxton’s mother, Crystal Fielies, was in attendance at the awards.

Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, delivered the keynote address, noting how, over 60 percent of our population is made up of young people. This means the youth are the heartbeat of our economy and broader society. And instead of waiting for opportunities to be handed to them, we have seen many young entrepreneurs, who started with very little, develop some of the most innovative ideas that have ultimately led to job creation. That is the kind of drive and determination we wish to see in the Western Cape youth.

We are working hard to create the necessary environment for young people to access and leverage opportunity where required. And we are committed to partnerships that will level the playing field for many who do not have the access to resources.

I wish to commend all those who were recognized for their excellence at the Awards ceremony this evening, said Premier Zille.

The Western Cape Government this financial year will spend in excess of R9.8-billion on youth development. DSD alone spends R15.6-million on youth development projects, which funds seven Youth Cafes and 27 NGOs working with youth.

Source: Government of South Africa