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Today, the Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz, delivered the speech for budget vote 7 to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament. Increased allocations were announced for youth development projects including Youth Cafés and the Cape Youth @ Work internship programme, amongst other highlights.

This budget has allocated:

· 41% to social welfare which provides services to persons with disabilities, older persons, and social relief;

· 31% to the children and families, which includes Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDs) and child protection services including foster care and Child and Youth Care Centres (CYCCs); and

· 17% for restorative services which includes victim empowerment; substance abuse prevention and treatment, and crime prevention.

Youth Development will receive R24.1 million for the 2019/20 financial year to ensure that young people are ready for the working world and all its responsibilities. In total, R76.7 million has been allocated to the 2019 MTEF to implement the Provincial Youth Development Strategy (PYDS).

Minister Fritz said, “The development of young people is paramount. This is why my Department spearheaded the PYDS which helps youth, particularly those Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs), to improve their outcomes. Guided by the PYDS, this Department has launched 11 Youth Cafés in the past five years across the Province which is testament to our service delivery excellence. I am pleased that R1.8 million has been set aside for the establishment of three new youth cafes in Metro North, Metro East and the Cape Winelands.”

Minister Fritz further added, “I am pleased that over R4 million has been allocated to the Cape Youth @ Work internship programme in the 2019/20 financial year. Over the past year, the Programme has upskilled over 100 interns from Mitchells Plain and surrounding areas. Through programmes like this, we are making a difference to the high youth unemployment levels nationally. The Western Cape has a youth unemployment rate that is over 17 percentage points lower than the national average, and close to 14 percentage points lower than Gauteng. This is based on StatsSA Q4 2018 jobs statistics on the expanded definition.”

Under the leadership of Minister Fritz, the Western Cape Department of Social Development will continue to support and upskill the youth of this province.

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