The Elundini Local Municipality witnessed a week-long information-sharing session and celebration of youth month organised by the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT).
The event, which ran from June 25 to 1 July 2023, aimed to serve the various administrative areas within Elundini LM.
The primary objectives of the event were multifaceted. Firstly, DEDEAT shared information and knowledge about its services as the regional office to enhance awareness among community members.
In addition, the event aimed to provide an opportunity for the local community to access provincial and national institutions for information-sharing purposes.
Lastly, the sessions aimed to encourage open dialogue and debates on the challenges facing the area’s development.
The information-sharing sessions were scheduled across different locations within the municipality. On 26 June, sessions were held in Engcele, Upper Sinxako, and Lower Sinxako. The following day, on 27 June, the sessions took place in Lower Tsitsana, Upper Tsitsana, Sophonia East and Sophonia West.
On 28 June, the Bakoena Traditional Council, Ezingonyameni and Chief Nombewu hosted the event. A Youth in Business workshop was organised on 29 June in Mt Fletcher, specifically targeting Batlokoa, Esiqhungqwini, and Embonisweni communities. The week-long event culminated in a Youth Day celebration in Maclear on 30 June.
Participating stakeholders included Elundini LM, the National Youth Development Agency, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, the South African Revenue Service and the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy. Their collective involvement aimed to provide comprehensive support and information to the local community.
Whilst DEDEAT often engages in these sessions, this particular programme can be traced back to the visits made by the Minister of Small Business Development and Economic Development Portfolio Committee to Elundini LM during the 2021/22 and 2022/23 financial years respectively.
These visits revealed the pressing concerns of community members, including a lack of access to funding for projects and businesses due to a lack of information.
Furthermore, there were complaints regarding the limited visibility of DEDEAT and other government departments and agencies. The community members also appealed for training and induction workshops on departmental programmes.
DEDEAT through Economic Development Programme is primarily responsible for promoting and administering sustainable economic development and job creation.