President Jacob Zuma has officially handed over the Beaufort West Youth Hub to the community of Kwa-Mandlenkosi Township in the Karoo.
The state of art, multi-million rand facility was a project initiated by the SABC over three years ago.
Now it’s a fully equipped skills centre and has been opened for use by the local community of Beaufort West.
The youth centre is in a community plagued by a number of social ills including teenage pregnancy, HIV, drugs and a high rate of unemployment. This facility is a beacon of hope for not only the youth but the community at large.
Boasting a fully-fledged gymnasium, Astroturf, amphitheatre, and swimming pool – among other facilities.
A few years ago these resources were a pipe dream.
But through the intervention of the public broadcaster’s touching lives program – the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform stepped in.
“We need to offer youth in these communities the same lifestyle and opportunities that youth in suburbs are afforded. The world class sport available in this hub will provide youth in this community on a better footing and help transform sport here. The swimming pool, half Olympic size will host swimming clubs and galas. Hopefully the next Chad Le Clos and Penny Heyns will come from this community,” explains Zuma.
The hub is a pilot project used by government to show its seriousness about rural development.
“We are just proving a point that things can’t always be in Johannesburg and Cape Town. It’s absolutely a good thing for this community. Even if it’s in Pretoria you must know that we have you in mind … government is aware of your existence. Challenges facing youth such as unemployment are a major concern. While conditions are improving but social profile suggests that black youth face challenges such as the absorption into the job market compared to their white counterparts but we are implementing different strategies to help youth,” adds Zuma.
The facility brings hope to the community.