Over 200 unemployed youths from the Eastern Cape have helped build over 60 houses for the destitute as part of the provincial Youth Brigade Programme.
The programme, which is run by the Eastern Cape Human Settlement Department, looks to impart youths with marketable skills within the construction industry, while seriously curbing high levels of unemployment.
“The programme is a departmental response to the call of upscaling government interventions for youth development”, said department spokesperson, Lwandile Sicwetsha. “Youth participate in this programme either as professionals labourers, entrepreneurs or beneficiaries”.
The National Homebuilders Registration Council (NHRC) provided technical skills training for the participants and further exposure to community orientated projects could see this collaborative project put a firm dent in the social housing backlog in the province.
Currently, 1 773 255 homes are considered in extremely poor condition, with around 26% of those houses situated in rural areas where service delivery is given with great difficulty.
The programme participants will spend most of their focus on rural areas, constructing homes for those in serious need.
The 60 houses which were built in the poverty-stricken villages of Ntabankulu, will be handed over from the department to community members as part of the Mandela Month activities.