On 16 September 2017, UJ Community Engagement (UJCE) student volunteers presented their Integrated Development Plan (IDP) Projects that they are embarking on across the four UJ campuses at the Youth Imbizo 2017 event, hosted by Zone 14 Youth Development at the Cosmo City Multipurpose Centre Hall.
The event hosted 400 youth across Johannesburg and up to 30 stakeholders including UJ, Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) Dr. Mpho Phalatse, MMC for Health and Social Development at City of Johannesburg and other private entities that serve as youth development agencies such as the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to share information about job creation, bursaries, internships, skills development, SMME’s loans and grants.
The event allowed the youth to be able to give feedback to Government on areas that directly hinder their development, with the hope that when Government rolls out the strategies of helping with unemployment eradication, they consider the input from the youth in Johannesburg.
”The UJCE is keen working with City of Johannesburg to transform the city. Ensuring that our students are enabled to give back to the community through the acquisition of experience through all the projects that are prudently planned,” said Ms. Ernestine Meyer-Adams, Community Engagement Manager at UJ.
The IDP’s Strategic Trust Outcomes and Priorities in Pillars 1-4 contained points that are affecting the youth daily. The report indicated that there are up to 31.5% unemployed youth in Johannesburg alone. UJ students not only highlighted the problems the youth are facing but responded to the IDP by introducing projects such as bicycle projects, vertical farming and polycarbonate street lights. These projects are driven by the motive to change the city and transform it in all its aspects.
Speaking at the event, MMC for Health and Social Development at City of Johannesburg, Dr. Mpho Phalatse said, ”We recognise the work that UJCE student volunteer champions are doing in meeting the IDP and we welcome their involvement. We are also learning and exchanging knowledge and information with UJ senior leadership. We also want to encourage other students to get involved in such great initiatives.”