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Mayor Mashaba’s Message for Youth Day

41 YEARS AGO TODAY, heavily armed apartheid police fired teargas and later live ammunition on about 10 000 students who were peacefully protesting against the introduction of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction alongside English.
This was after the Bantu Education Act was introduced by the Apartheid government in 1953, further entrenching the systematic oppression of black people in the country.
Theirs was a protest for freedom and equal franchise within their own country.
Johannesburg today has 862 000 unemployed people, with an unemployment rate of over 30%. It is heartbreaking that 41 years after the 1976 Soweto Student Uprising, it is the youth of our city, who are the greatest causalities of this crisis, facing an unemployment rate of over 50%.
This administration is determined to work hard to turn this around by growing the economy by 5% by 2021.
• We have also budgeted R16 million in the 2017/18 budget for the expansion of the City’s SME Hubs from seven to 14 Hubs.
• We have increased to R8.5 billion in 2017/18 the target for investment and business facilitation.
• We have also set aside R10 million for the artisan development training programmes in the coming financial year, as well as ensured that
child-headed households with a property value not exceeding 2 million
Rand receive a 100% rebate on services offered through our Expanded Social Package.
Compounding to the unemployment is the drug epidemic that continues to steal the lives of our young people.
To ensure an integrated approach, we are in the process of launching a series of pilot projects to expand the services offered at City clinics to include drug rehabilitation services to communities highly impacted by drugs. This administration is dedicated to ensuring that the legacy of the youth of 1976 is honoured through the creation of an environment where residents are treated with respect and dignity.
By running programmes that tackle the challenges faced by our young people, we are ensuring that we also leave a legacy that young people, 41 years from today, can be proud of.

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