A R52 million multi-purpose Youth Hub is empowering young people in Beaufort West in the Central Karoo.
The Rural Development and Land Reform Department started building it nearly four years ago following an SABC story about the lack of recreational facilities for the town’s youth.
The state-of-the-art centre provides skills training in various fields, as well as sport and recreational activities.
Situated in the heart of the KwaMandlenkosi informal settlement the Beaufort West Youth Hub has breathed new life into the impoverished community unemployment among the youth.
“Apart from unemployment, there’s ‘unemployability’ of the youth. This youth hub brings a new paradigm shift, creating opportunities for the youth to better their personal circumstances,” says Truman Prince, Beaufort West’s Mayor.
Many young people who would have turned towards a life of crime and drug abuse now have a brighter future.
“It’s to ensure that the young people, they’ve got an opportunity to hone their skills, their talents and gifts, so they can be of greater benefit to their communities, to themselves and to the country as a whole,” says Nyameko Mgoqi from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
Young people are taught about childcare and business skills, the hub also provides employment.
Some community members work as cleaning and maintenance staff.
Local residents have welcomed the Youth Hub.
“I love what they’ve done for us here in the community, here in Kwanmandlenkosi. It’s a very beautiful place, I’m proud of this place here in our community,” says a resident.
“As I can see, it’s something good, it keeps the children busy. Especially after school activities, I think it’s something good. Keep it up,” says another resident.
It is hoped the Youth Hub will also attract young people from surrounding areas, such as Nelspoort and Murraysburg.