The number of young people who will benefit from KwaZulu-Natal government’s youth business development fund is expected to grow exponentially, thanks to the additional funding announced by Premier Sihle Zikalala yesterday.
Delivering the KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s Office budget vote in the Pietermaritzburg legislature, Mr Zikalala said a R70 million youth fund launched earlier this year had been give an additional R50 million top-up.
“As the Province of KwaZulu-Natal we remain acutely aware of the link between entrepreneurship and job creation. Therefore, this R120 million is intended to get more young people involved in entrepreneurship which will make them creators of employment for their peers.”
The Premier also announced that the provincial government’s efforts of sourcing financial support for the youth fund from the private sector had begun to pay handsome dividends.
“We are pleased to announce that ABSA bank has already set up a R70-million loan facility for young people, and a further R500-million for Small and Medium businesses.
“We have been agreeably called upon by the people of KwaZulu-Natal to hasten the pace of entrepreneurial development and job creation. This is a task we do not take lightly, particularly given the obvious dearth of employment opportunities among Black Africans and the youth,” Mr Zikalala said.
More funding is expected from the private sector, once negotiations have been finalised, an optimistic Premier added.
He said the first batch of young people whose applications for funding had been considered would be announced next month.
The Premier also announced that R66,719 million has been allocated to the Royal Household, adding that the Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu served as a symbol of unity and continues to be a custodian of Zulu culture.
Mr Zikalala also expressed concern about the state of local government, adding the Premier’s Coordinating Forum would provide support all municipalities to perform optimally.
“We will provide support to municipalities with a view to beefing up their financial, administrative and delivery capacity. This will take a form of training, monitoring, intervention as well as addressing weaknesses. We must all ensure there is an uninterrupted provision of services to the people.”
The provincial government would also put in place tight measures to fight and stop all forms of fraud and corruption.
“The Office of the Premier will mobilise society and all stakeholders to ensure that the anti-fraud and anti-corruption movement grows and gathers speed. We will launch the toll-free number where people will report acts of fraud and corruption.”
The platform would also process complaints from people who are not happy with the delivery of services.
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