The National Human Settlements Youth Summit was held in Johannesburg this week to discuss government housing programmes aimed at empowering young people.

The National Settlements Youth Brigade programme will see 100 houses being built by youth, who will receive training from a company contracted for the project.

The programme aims to build a group of young people, who will have the requisite skills set to participate in the construction sector.

The ultimate goal is to get youth involved in the building of 1.5 million housing opportunities in the next five years. The chance to get involved in the Youth Brigade Programme couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for Alton.

Two houses and a recreational park have been completed since the project got off the ground in October.

Huge investment

Speaking at the launch, Human Settlements Director-General Thabani Zulu said young people are the future of the country and their empowerment is a huge and necessary investment that the leadership of South Africa must make.

Zulu said they chose to launch the programme in Walkerville, as 60% of the local population was made up of young people.  “We want to move to all the provinces of this country establishing youth brigades,” said Zulu.

Sedibeng Executive Mayor Mahole Simon Mofokeng said the Youth Brigade will instill a sense of responsibility and ownership to young people. He encouraged the youth to take full advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

“Sixty to 65% of the community is constituted by the youth, meaning our future is guaranteed and safe in the hands of the youth. We must knock on every government door rather that sit on the street and ask what opportunities are available and offered for the youth,” Mofokeng said.