Call for fo­cus on youth in Winelands

Vot­ers are ready to use the bal­lot for good gov­er­nance

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - NOLOYISO MTEMBU

YOUTH devel­op­ment, jobs, crime and hous­ing are among the hot-but­ton is­sues for vot­ers in the greater Cape Winelands district.

The district is roughly at the cen­tre of the Western Cape and com­prises the Witzen­berg, Drak­en­stein, Stel­len­bosch, Breede Val­ley and Lange­berg lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Known for its vine­yards and or­chards, the area is also con­demned for the poor liv­ing con­di­tions of farm dwellers which have caused strike ac­tion and evic­tions.

In May, Week­end Ar­gus re­ported res­i­dents of Kreef­gat, an in­for­mal set­tle­ment near the R44 in Stel­len­bosch, were em­broiled in a le­gal bat­tle with Blaauwk­lip­pen Wine Es­tate.

The es­tate had bought the land on which the set­tle­ment is sit­u­ated. The res­i­dents could be moved to a tem­po­rary re­lo­ca­tion area pend­ing a me­di­a­tion process.

Ac­cord­ing to the last cen­sus sta­tis­tics, the Cape Winelands is home to 787 489 peo­ple, 62 per­cent of whom are coloured, 24 per­cent African and 13 per­cent white.

At least 78.3 per­cent of the peo­ple in the district mu­nic­i­pal­ity in­di­cated they have ac­cess to wa­ter from a lo­cal or re­gional sup­plier while 93.4 per­cent have ac­cess to elec­tric­ity.

Toi­let fa­cil­i­ties are ac­ces­si­ble to 91.8 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion and at least 16 per­cent of peo­ple live in in­for­mal set­tle­ments.

The district mu­nic­i­pal­ity is run by the DA with coali­tions with Cope in Witzen­berg and Lange­berg.

Res­i­dents who spoke to Week­end Ar­gus this week said they were reg­is­tered to vote and would use it to choose who gov­erned them.

Nomvuyiseko Mtiya, a fi­nance man­ager in Stel­len­bosch, said town­ships in the area were lack­ing in fa­cil­i­ties such as sports fields and com­mu­nity halls.

Find­ing proper hous­ing, par­tic­u­larly in Stel­len­bosch, was dif­fi­cult be­cause “as young pro­fes­sion­als we can­not af­ford to pay rent in town, we do not qual­ify for gov­ern­ment hous- ing and we are of­ten forced to move to other ar­eas or rent a shack in some­one’s back­yard”.

For Nomonde Gx­agx­isa, a teacher in Kaya­mandi, crime and ed­u­ca­tion were the main is­sues she wanted ad­dressed. “We do not have a fully fledged po­lice sta­tion here. Crime is rife and po­lice re­sponse is slow at times,” she said, add- ing that lo­cal schools needed up­grad­ing.

An­other Kaya­mandi res­i­dent, man­ag­ing direc­tor at NGO Lokx­ion Foun­da­tion Paul Kham­bule, said youth were not catered for within mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

“There are no youth desks where youth struc­tures will be en­cour­aged.

“Youth devel­op­ment is not bud­geted for and the role of the district mu­nic­i­pal­ity and that of the lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity are not com­mu­ni­cated to the youth, hence the needs of the youth are not known,” he said.

noloyiso.mtembu@inl.co.za

PIC­TURE: EPA

A gen­eral view of vine­yards at Baby­lon­storen wine farm in Franschhoek.

Paul Kham­bule is the man­ag­ing direc­tor at Lokx­ion Foun­da­tion, a youth em­pow­er­ment NGO in Stel­len­bosch.

Nomonde Gx­agx­isa is a teacher in Kaya­mandi.

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