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Rural youth thrive on skills programme

Written by Nthambeleni Gabara
A graduate of the National Rural Youth Service Corps (Narysec), Colbert Mabasa, has hailed the programme as a skills development hub, which creates invaluable job opportunities for the youth.

“My life has changed because of the construction and agricultural skills that I’ve acquired through the programme. I value this programme and I can see the difference it is making to young people’s lives, mostly in rural areas.

“I know how to build, plaster and make roofing. Before I started with this programme in 2010, I was unemployed and unskilled,” he said.

Mabasa currently builds houses for people in the Mukhomi village near Malamulele in Limpopo and has a registered construction company, which employs five locals.

He is one of the 6 000 young people who recently graduated from the Narysec programme aimed at empowering rural youth from each of the 3 300 rural wards across the country.

Mabasa, who runs a two-hectare garden where he plants vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and onions, sells his produce to local Shoprite and Pick ’n Pay stores.

“I’ve been sitting doing nothing at home since I matriculated in 2008, as there was no money for me to further my studies; my results were also not good. But now this programme has changed my life for the better and I’m always working very hard so that I can also change the lives of other young people in my village,” he said.

Wendy Tsotetsi, from Emfuleni in Gauteng, has also seen the benefits of Narysec.

“This is a very good initiative, which needs young people with a positive mind-set. Young people should stay out of the streets and grab opportunities like this one, which has been created by government to change their lives.”

Narysec was launched by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in 2011 with an initial 7 900 participants, of which 4 500 have completed training in various disciplines, mainly in the construction sector.

For information on Narysec contact the department on 0800 007 095